Sugen Inc., a privately held biotech start-up, announcedThursday that it has raised $5 million in private financing tobolster its R&D programs.

Sugen of Redwood City, Calif., received $3 million fromInternational Technology Investment Managers (ITIM) and anadditional $2 million from the venture capital groups GracePartners, CW Ventures and Venrock Associates. This brings thetotal equity that Sugen has raised since its inception in August1991 to $11.5 million.

Stephen Evans-Freke, Sugen's chairman and chief executiveofficer, formed New York-based ITIM as his corporatefinancing vehicle in 1990. He used ITIM to raise more than $4million in seed funds for Sugen a year ago. He also attractedanother $2.3 million in venture funding -- from VenrockAssociates and CW Group -- for the company in January of thisyear.

Venrock and CW's decision to fund Sugen again was "based onwhat they read in the updated business plan," said ArthurAltschul Jr., Sugen's investor relations manager.

Sugen's plan is to develop therapeutics from the cell surfacereceptor systems that play key roles in regulating variousaspects of cellular physiology -- receptor tyrosine kinases andreceptor tyrosine phosphatases. These enzymes act asbiochemical switches; kinases are known to activate metabolicpathways, phosphatases to inactivate them. Therapeutics,therefore, could be targeted toward altering these basicfunctions.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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