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GENSIA $ 10.6 MIL. CASH INFUSION WILL BACK ARA-100 PHASE II

Executive Summary

GENSIA $ 10.6 MIL. CASH INFUSION WILL BACK ARA-100 PHASE II studies in the U.K. on the Adenosine Releasing Agent's (ARA) use as a cardioprotective drug. The start-up's latest round of venture capital funding will also support the mid-September start of human trials in Germany of the firm's novel catecholamine-based Exercise Stimulating Agents (ESA) and accompanying closed-loop delivery system. Together, the diagnostic forms an alternative to cardiac stress testing. San Diego-based Gensia Pharmaceuticals announced Sept. 5 that it has completed a $ 10.6 mil. round of venture capital financing, its fourth since the R&D start-up was established in late 1986. The new round came from Gensia's 10 current investors plus new backers Chancellor Capital Management and H & Q Healthcare Investors. To date, Gensia has raised a total of $ 26 mil. to support its biopharmaceutical R&D efforts. The privately-held company also is in the process of forming a limited partnership from which it hopes to raise $ 17 mil. Montgomery Securities is managing the proposed partnership. The company's first purine-based ARA compound began clinicals in the U.K. a year ago in an oral tab form ("The Pink Sheet" Sept. 12, 1988, p. 8). Gensia is negotiating for a European partner to fund Phase III clinicals, a company spokesperson said. Phase II trials are focusing on the treatment of stable and unstable angina, certain types of arrhythmia and ischemia associated with angioplasty. The ARA family may also provide a treatment for stroke and the company is investigating that use. Gensia's combination ESA drug/device system is being studied to determine whether the drug can elicit an acute, measurable rise in cardiovascular activity in conjunction with the firm's proprietary computer-controlled delivery system. Gensia estimates that 20-30% of the population who should have a cardiac stress test cannot and that an additional 20-30% who take the test have unsatisfactory results because they cannot achieve a sustained elevated heart rate.
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