Quaker BioVentures launches 2d fund

  Quaker BioVentures, Philadelphia, said Friday it had raised $420 million to close its second venture-capital fund.
  That follows an earlier $220 million fund, set up in 2003, which in its first four years returned 23 cents for every dollar invested, according to the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, a Quaker investor.
  Quaker focuses on companies in the "mid-Atlantic" region, which has expanded over the past five years to include companies as far north as Connecticut and as far south as Charleston.
  That region "continues to lag in the pace of life sciences venture investment, even though it is home to many of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, leading research institutions and government agencies," cofounder Sherrill Neff said in a statement.
  The new fund has so far put money into antipsychotic drugmaker Argolyn BioScience, Charleston, S.C.; insulin developer Diasome Pharmaceuticals, Conshohocken; specialty-drug marketer EKR Therapeutics, Cedar Knoll, N.J.; eye-treatment maker Optherion Inc., New Haven, Conn.; and lung-treatment maker Transave, Monmouth Junction, N.J.

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