Anesiva Inc., a firm that focuses on late-stage development and commercialization of pain products, priced a common stock offering of 11.1 million shares at $4.05 each to raise $45 million for research and development activities and other general corporate purposes.

That offering, expected to close Dec. 18, will add a nice chunk of change for the South San Francisco-based company, which anticipates net proceeds to total about $42.9 million - or $47.7 million, if underwriters exercise in full their overallotment option to purchase 1.2 million additional shares. Anesiva, which posted a net loss of $16.1 million, or 58 cents per share, for the third quarter, had $54.5 million in cash, equivalents and investments as of Sept. 30.

Following the offering, Anesiva will have about 39.1 million shares outstanding - or 40.4 million shares, taking into account the overallotment option.

The company's focus to date has been on its two late-stage products, the first of which, Zingo (lidocaine hydrochloride monohydrate), gained FDA approval in August for pain associated with peripheral venous access procedures in children ages three to 18. A powder intradermal injection system, needle-free Zingo is designed to deliver 0.5 mg of powdered sterile lidocaine into the skin via compressed helium. The company recently completed a pivotal study in 700 adult patients, in which Zingo met the primary endpoint by demonstrating less pain associated with venipuncture or peripheral intravenous cannulation compared to placebo, and plans to seek and plans to seek an expanded label for adult patients in the first quarter of 2008.

Anesiva is building its own sales force for marketing Zingo to hospitals in the U.S. The firm recently signed a marketing deal with Richmond Hill, Ontario-based Medical Futures Inc., which will be responsible for regulatory filing and commercialization of the product in Canada. Terms of that agreement were not disclosed.

The company's second product, Adlea (formerly 4975), an agonist of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, is set to start pivotal testing in post-surgical pain associated with orthopedic surgeries in the first half of next year. Anesiva previously reached an agreement with the FDA on that pivotal program, with the first of two Phase III studies to involve patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery and the second to involve patients undergoing bunionectomy surgery.

Adlea also is in two ongoing Phase II studies in postoperative pain associated with total hip replacement surgery and knee replacement surgery.

In its prospectus, Anesiva said funds would support development work, such as clinical trials, and the company might also earmark a portion of the proceeds for acquisition of, or investment in complementary products or businesses.

Pacific Growth Equities LLC, Broadpoint Capital Inc. and Fortis Securities LLC are acting as underwriters for the offering.

Shares of Anesiva (NASDAQ:ANSV) lost 9 cents Thursday to close at $3.96.

In other financings news:

Ascendis Pharma A/S, of Copenhagen, Denmark, raised €17.6 million (US$25.7 million) in a Series A round led by Sofinnova Partners, of Paris, and co-led by Gilde Healthcare Partners, of the Netherlands, with participation by Zweite TechnoStart Ventures Fonds GmbH & Co. KG, of Germany. Proceeds will be used to broaden the firm's pipeline, which is based on a transient linker technology platform designed to improve existing and development-stage products by conjugating peptides, protein and small molecules to a carrier molecule in a reversible fashion. Ascendis also reported the acquisition of Heidelberg, Germany-based Complex Biosystems GmbH, which it transformed into its research organization.

AVI BioPharma Inc., of Portland, Ore., is raising $20.3 million in a registered direct offering, expected to close Dec. 17. The company obtained commitments to purchase about 10.7 million shares priced at $1.90 each, and offered investors warrants to purchase an additional 5.3 million shares at an exercise price of $2.45 each. AVI plans to use the net proceeds to support clinical trials of its lead product candidates, as well as funding preclinical programs and other research and development and for general corporate purposes. The firm is developing third-generation NeuGene antisense drugs and products for Duchenne's muscular dystrophy based on its ESPRIT exon-skipping technology. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. acted as the lead placement agent and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. and Maxim Group LLC served as co-placement agents. Shares of AVI (NASDAQ:AVII) fell 57 cents, or 26 percent, Thursday to close at $1.66.

ConjuChem Biotechnologies Inc., of Montreal, closed its bought deal financing of $22 million through the sale of 22,000 units - each consisting of $1,000 principal amount of 8 percent convertible unsecured subordinated debentures and 1.6 million common share purchase warrants. The offering was made through a syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities Corp., and included Cormark Securities Inc., Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. and Versant Partners Inc. Net proceeds will be used to advance the company's PC-DAC:Exendin-4 for Type II diabetes, as well as for working capital and general corporate purposes.

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