Conatus Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego developer of drugs for inflammation and liver disease, closed a $22 million private placement that brings its first round of funding to $27.5 million. Investors included Aberdare Ventures, Advent Venture Partners, Bay City Capital, and Gilde Healthcare Partners.

Conatus was founded by former executives of Idun Pharmaceuticals in mid-2005 after Pfizer acquired their company. The funding will support mid-stage clinical trials of its lead compound, CTS-1027, for liver disease. The first trial, in hepatitis C patients, is expected to begin by the end of this year. Conatus licensed CTS-1027 from Roche last November.