Triplex Pharmaceutical Corp. has completed a privateplacement of $12.2 million in preferred stock to finance thecompany's expansion and develop its triple helix-formingcompounds.

Triplex is developing compounds that bind directly to disease-causing segments of DNA. The triple helix technology is socalled because the compounds bind to targeted portions of theDNA double helix, forming a triple helix that prevents thegenes from synthesizing disease-causing proteins.

The market for treatments based on triple helix-formingcompounds is in the "hundreds of millions of dollars," James M.Chubb, president of Triplex, told BioWorld.

The company, based in The Woodlands, Texas, currently isfocused on in vitro and animal model evaluations of severaloligonucleotide compounds for use against herpes simplexvirus types I and II and HIV, the AIDS virus. Triplex hasidentified a lead compound for treatment of the herpes II andHIV viruses, Chubb said.

In the longer term, Triplex is developing the compounds fortreatment of cytomegalovirus, human papilloma virus andhepatitis B, and is working with universities to evaluate useof the compounds to inhibit the expression of variousoncogene-based cancers, Chubb said.

New Enterprise Associates led the round of venture capitalfinancing, which also raised money from Hillman MedicalVentures, Prince Ventures, S.R.-One Ltd., Ventures MedicalAssociates L.P., Philadelphia Ventures, The Woodlands VenturePartners Ltd. and SED Ventures S.A. of France.

"We are in the process of looking for corporate partnerrelationships, and I suspect that will be our next source for alarge amount of capital," Chubb said.

The financing brought Triplex's total capitalization to $25.9million.

-- Kris Herbst BioWorld Washington Bureau

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