Tularik Inc. announced Wednesday that it has raised $17.35million in a third round of venture financing. This boosts theSouth San Francisco company's total venture capital coffers toapproximately $30 million, and its valuation to $65.5 million.
Lead investors in this round were Delphi BioVentures andNippon Investment Finance Co. Ltd., the venture investmentarm of Daiwa Securities of Japan. Additional new investorsincluded H&Q Capital Management and SingaporeBioInnovations Pte. Ltd. Previous investors that alsoparticipated in this round included the Mayfield Fund,Institutional Venture Partners and Medicus Venture Partners.
James Gower, president and chief executive officer of Tularik,said that the strategy of this venture round from the beginningwas to attract European and Asian financing.
"We purposefully sought these investors," Gower told BioWorld.Gower, a former senior vice president at Genentech Inc.,explained that "in the early days (the strategy of obtaininginternational financing) was a real benefit for Genentech."
Tularik, which was founded in December 1991 to identify anddevelop small molecule drugs that work by modulatingtranscription factors, has picked viruses, acute and chronicinflammation and hypercholesterolemia as its initialtherapeutic targets.
Since then the company has identified some lead compounds,and its in vitro results look promising, Gower told BioWorld."The next steps involve mostly chemistry."
Gower predicted that Tularik researchers could be looking atthe action of those potential leads in animal models by thesecond half of this year.
And the money that the company has raised now "gives us achance to do the things we need to do," Gower said, includingadding several high-throughput robotic drug screens toaccommodate a growing number of projects, and "doubling thespace we're in."
-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor
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