Icagen says it completed a private placement totaling $19.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2003.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to continue to advance the company’s clinical development programs and to expand its ion channel drug discovery pipeline.

Current venture capital investors participating in this financing included Alta Partners, Venrock Associates, HBM, Chinese Development Industrial Bank, Quintiles Transnational, and JP Morgan Partners.

“We appreciate the continued strong support of our venture capital investors. The resources provided by this financing will enable the company to continue to drive the clinical development of our two internal drug candidates — for the treatment of sickle cell anemia and — for the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain,” said Icagen President and CEO Kay Wagoner. “In addition, we plan to continue to build our pipeline as we advance our ion channel focused drug discovery programs, both internally and in collaboration with our corporate partners.”

Icagen, a privately held biopharmaceutical company based in RTP, has developed proprietary technologies which enable the identification and development of ion channel compounds, and has ongoing discovery and development programs across many therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, central nervous system, ophthalmologic and immunologic disorders.

The company has partnerships with pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals. Additionally, Icagen has maintained rights to the development and commercialization of most of its programs.

Its drug candidates for the treatment of sickle cell anemia are currently in Phase II clinical trials, and for the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain, currently in Phase I clinical trials.

Icagen: www.icagen.com