By Randall Osborne

West Coast Editor

MacroChem Corp. grossed $10.1 million in a private placement to institutional investors, selling about 1.56 million shares at $6.48 each. Investors also got five-year warrants to buy 313,209 shares at $8.995 per share, and MacroChem may call the warrants if the closing price reaches $17.990 for 15 trading days in a row.

Lexington, Mass.-based MacroChem’s vice president and chief financial officer, Bernard Patriacca, said four investors took part, with one investing 75 percent.

“It’s a pretty straight, vanilla deal, with good terms,” he said.

Lexington, Mass.-based MacroChem’s lead product is Topiglan, a topical alprostadil product for erectile dysfunction, delivered by way of an absorption-enhancement technology, called SEPA, which gets the drug past the outer lipid barrier of mammal skin, known as the stratum corneum.

Topiglan recently finished a pivotal Phase III trial, and MacroChem plans a second study.

“They’ll expand it and maybe include some other things we didn’t test the first time,” such as oral toxicity, Patriacca told BioWorld Today. “We’re putting together a protocol now.” In the first study, 540 patients with ED were tested, using 30 urologists, Patriacca said.

“[Patients] have to come back and respond to a questionnaire,” he said. “There’s a lot of paperwork involved.”

The firm also is developing EcoNail, which uses SEPA to enhance MacroChem’s nail lacquer for delivering antifungal agents through nails and surrounding tissues. About 37 million Americans are afflicted with onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the fingernails or toenails.

“That’s at a stage where we know it works,” Patriacca said, and a licensee or partner is being sought to take the product beyond Phase I study.

“The timeline to see if it works is a good nine months to a year, because you have to wait until the toenail grows out,” he said.

MacroChem’s stock (NASDAQ:MCHM) closed Monday at $6.52, down 6 cents.

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