Drug discovery Serenex drew new investors and added an additional $8 million to a ‘B’ round of financing, the company said Monday.

Serenex has now raised $29 million in the B round, which dates back to August of 2002 and an initial $15 million. Serenex added another $6 million in May of this year.

Intersouth Partners of Durham, a current investor, led the round.

Takeda Research Investment and Western Technology Investment participated in the syndicate for the first time.

Other investors were Mediphase Venture Partners, Lilly BioVentures and Seaflower Ventures.

Serenex said the funds would be used for further development in areas of oncology and inflammation.

“We are very pleased to secure this financing which will enable us to complete the validation of our three lead molecules,” said Richard Kent, president and CEO of Serenex, in a statement. “We welcome and look forward to working with our new strategic investor, Takeda Research Investment, and we appreciate the continued confidence shown by our existing seasoned group of investors.”

VentureWire reported that Serenex plans to raise a $30 million “C” round in 2005.

Serenex has drug development agreements with a number of pharmaceutical giants, including GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis, Roche and Eli Lilly.

Koichi Kato, resident and CEO of Takeda Research Investment, cited Serenex potential as reasons for the investment.

“Serenex has a powerful small molecule drug discovery technology and has developed several very interesting pre-clinical programs,” he said. “We are delighted to be strategically aligned with the company.”

Serenex blends chemistry and proteomics in its drug discovery program.

Serenex: www.serenex.com