BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. priced its public offering, selling 7.5 million shares at $10 apiece to bring in $75 million. As good as that was, things improved further Friday for the company when it said Aldurazyme received a positive recommendation from an advisory body in Europe.
The offering, which was proposed earlier this month, originally called for the sale of 6 million shares and is part of a $150 million shelf registration BioMarin filed in December. The company said net proceeds are expected to be about $70.1 million, money it will in part use on Aldurazyme, its enzyme replacement therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis-I. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 7, 2003.)
"It was a successful offering," Joshua Grass, manager, investor relations at BioMarin, told BioWorld Today. "This allows us to pursue our regulatory strategy for Aldurazyme and move other products in our pipeline along."
Company officials were restricted from saying more due to SEC-imposed quiet-period regulations. BioMarin has granted underwriters an overallotment option on another 1.125 million shares. The managing underwriters of the offering are UBS Warburg LLC, CIBC World Markets Corp. and SG Cowen Securities Corp., all of New York.
Aldurazyme (laronidase), partnered with Genzyme General, of Cambridge, Mass., received a positive opinion from the Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products of the European Union. The product also is under review in the U.S. The rolling biologics license application was finished July 29 in the U.S. and the companies submitted in March a marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Evaluation Agency. In January, Aldurazyme received a positive recommendation from an FDA advisory panel, followed by a complete response letter that did not ask for additional trials. With the positive recommendation in Europe, things appear to be on track on both sides of the Atlantic. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 16, 2003, and Jan. 30, 2003.)
BioMarin also has Neutralase, a carbohydrate-modifying enzyme that cleaves heparin, in development for the reversal of anticoagulation by heparin in coronary arterial bypass grafting surgery. The company has worldwide rights to the drug and has said it expects to begin a Phase III trial this month.
Further down in the pipeline, BioMarin is developing Aryplase for mucopolysaccharidosis-VI. The treatment phase of a Phase II trial ended in January. Vibrilase, a topical enzyme product for removing burned skin tissue in preparation for skin grafting or other therapy, is in a Phase I trial in the UK. There are other enzyme products in preclinical work.
As of Dec. 31, BioMarin had $74 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. It lost $19.3 million in the fourth quarter and $77.5 million for the year. Its weighted average common shares outstanding for the quarter was 53.7 million.
BioMarin's stock closed Friday at $10.28, up 3 cents.