NOVATO -- Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. announced today that it has raised $5 million through a private placement and the exercise of warrants.

       The Novato developer of highly specialized drug targeting platforms and formulations will use the net proceeds to fund programs for its late-stage drug product candidates and to help close the proposed merger with TorreyPines Therapeutics announced last month.

That merger will give Raptor, now traded on the OTC Bulletin Board, a listing on NASDAQ, and is expected to expedite further funding of its research and development. The current executive team, headed by CEO Christopher Starr and President Ted Daley, will lead the new company, which will still be located in Novato.

Raptor employs about 10 people full time, with the same number of consultants.