Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced Thursday that it hascompleted the second and final stage of its most recent roundof private financing, raising an additional $5 million in privateequity.

Including the $8 million the company garnered in late June,this brings to $13 million the total amount that Alexion hasraised in its second round of venture financing.

Several organizations participated in the second stage of thisround, including new investor Oak Investment Partners andprevious investor Amerindo Technology Growth Fund. In Junethe investors included D. Blech & Co., Invesco, SchroderVentures, Allen & Co. and the state of Connecticut throughConnecticut Innovations Inc.

Alexion's first round of venture financing raised $5 million inDecember 1992 from investors D. Blech & Co., Amerindo, Allen& Co. and Venca, explained Leonard Bell, president and CEO ofAlexion of New Haven, Conn.

Thus, the start-up company (founded in January 1992) hasraised about $18 million in the past year. Alexion intends tochannel the funds toward its three areas of research anddevelopment: genetically engineered cellular pumps for long-term systemic protein drug delivery; screening for novel anti-inflammatory and anti-infective agents, especially potentialtherapeutics for complement-mediated diseases; anddevelopment of novel biopharmaceutical, cell replacement andgene therapy approaches to the treatment of specificimmunologic and cardiovascular disorders.

Alexion has recently licensed several relevant technologies forthe last program. In September, it obtained a worldwide licensefrom the Australian Medical Research Development Corp. Ltd.for the use of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) in the productionof tr ansgenic animals from embryonic stem cells. Also inSeptember, Alexion licensed from the Biotechnology Researchand Development Corp. (BRDC) porcine embryonic stem cellsand related technologies for use in the production of transgenicanimals whose organs and cells can be used for humantransplantation.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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