Oculon Corp. announced Wednesday that it has completed afourth-round, $9.4 million private placement to continue thedevelopment of its products to detect and prevent cataracts.

Lawrence Kinet, chairman and chief operating officer of thecompany, said Oculon has raised $21.8 million through privatefunding since its founding in 1987. "Without additional funding,this latest round will take us through the end of 1993," he said.

According to Kinet, most of the $9.4 million will be used to fundclinical trials of pantethine, which is the company's patentedcompound for preventing cataracts. A small portion will beused to fund the continuing effort to commercialize Opacitrac,an instrument for early cataract detection.

Kinet said pantethine potentially has more commercial valuethan Opacitrac. "If it (pantethine) works as well in humans as ithas in animals, then Opacitrac's value is pretty small comparedto the drug possibilities," he said.

The Cambridge, Mass., company has no immediate plans to gopublic. "The most important thing at this point is to be able toget pantethine through clinical trials," Kinet said. "If we canthen show efficacy, a

number of financial options are open to us." Kinet said thecompany hopes to have Opacitrac on the market by thebeginning of 1994.

Major investors in the latest round of financing included CapitalHealth Venture Partners, Fostin Capital Corp., Hambrecht &Quist, Allstate Venture Capital, Technology Funding, KinshipVenture Management and Add Venture Associates. Theseinvestors joined previous investors Hill, Carman, Kirby andWashing, Olympic Venture Partners, Delphi BioVentures andChancellor Capital Management.

-- Steve Payne BioWorld Staff

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.