Esperance Pharmaceuticals closed its latest round of fundraising $600,000 above previously released amounts.

The biomedical research company that is developing a new line of cancer-fighting drugs closed its Series B financing at $8.1 million, rather than the $7.5 million it expected.

The additional funds were provided by regional investors in the Baton Rouge and Shreveport areas, Esperance reported.

The funding will support further clinical development of EP-100, Esperance’s chief drug technology designed to selectively seek and destroy cancer cells, including cells known to be resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs, without harming normal cells.

“We are beginning to see in our local Baton Rouge market that individual investors are recognizing the attractiveness and potential of the growing Baton Rouge biotech community,” said Sandy Deslatte, marketing director at the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center, the high-tech business incubator where Esperance is housed.

The financing was led by a $4.5 million investment from the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, one of the five largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

“This oversubscription syndicate, led by our new investor Sanofi, will support the planned initiation of the next phase of EP-100 clinical studies later this year,” Hector Alila, president and CEO of Esperance Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement.