Arete Therapeutics, a Hayward, Calif., developer of biotech cardiovascular treatments, raised a $35 million extension to its first round of funding. Founded in 2003, the company is working on “small molecule” drugs that target a metabolism-related chain of biochemical cellular signals that involves arachidonic acid. (If that isn’t enough to make your head hurt, the company has a detailed explanation here.) Drugs that interfere with that pathway could be useful in treating high blood pressure and inflammation; the company plans to move its first candidate into human testing later this year, according to VentureWire (subscription required).

Frazier Healthcare Investors and Alta Partners led the round, joined by Three Arch Partners, Burrill & Co. and Altitude Life Science Ventures. The company had previously raised $16 million in its first round in 2005, for a total so far of $51 million.

The company’s release is here (PDF).