A week after starting three new clinical trials with the constipation drug methylnaltrexone, Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. priced a public offering of 2.6 million shares at $23.15 per share.

Shares of Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Progenics (NASDAQ:PGNX) fell $1.38 Thursday to close at $22.97.

After fees and expenses, Progenics expects to net about $57.1 million from the offering, which will supplement the $139.1 million in cash and equivalents the company reported at the end of the second quarter. Proceeds will be used to fund clinical trials and research programs, as well as for other corporate purposes.

At the head of Progenics' pipeline is methylnaltrexone, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist partnered with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

The companies submitted a new drug application earlier this year for the subcutaneous version of the drug in opioid-induced constipation (OIC), but several trials in new indications and with new formulations are under way. (See BioWorld Today, April 2, 2007.)

Just last week, the companies announced the initiation of two trials evaluating the subcutaneous formulation in OIC patients outside of the palliative care population included in the NDA submission: a Phase III trial in OIC patients with chronic pain not related to cancer and a Phase II trial in OIC patients rehabilitating from an orthopedic surgical procedure. A Phase III trial of an intravenous formulation for postoperative ileus also began last week, and an oral formulation has shown positive activity in a Phase I OIC trial.

Beyond methylnaltrexone, Progenics is developing two HIV programs: the Phase I CCR5 humanized monoclonal antibody PRO 140 and the preclinical vaccine ProVax. Phase Ib data with PRO 140 have demonstrated dose-dependent, statistically significant viral load reductions. The company also has antibody and vaccine programs targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen for the treatment of prostate cancer in preclinical development.

UBS Investment Bank, CIBC World Markets Corp. and Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. acted as joint book-running managers for the offering, which was based on an existing shelf registration statement. Progenics granted the underwriters the option to purchase up to 390,000 additional shares to cover overallotments.

Cellerix Raises $40M For Stem Cell Trials

Cellerix SL raised €27.2 million (US$40 million) in an oversubscribed Series B financing round.

Life Science Partners, of the Netherlands, and Ventech, of Paris, led the round, with Ysios Asset Management, of Spain, acting as co-lead and adviser. Additional investors included Roche Venture Fund, Novartis Venture Fund, Genera Biopartners, Genetrix Group and others.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to support an ongoing pivotal Phase III trial with Cx401, an autologous stem cell therapy derived from adipose tissue and intended for the treatment of complex perianal fistulas. Cellerix also is preparing to begin Phase II trials of Cx501, a chimeric skin for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa. Madrid-based Cellerix said Cx401 and Cx501 are the two first cellular products to be granted orphan status by the European Medicines Agency.

In preclinical development, Cellerix is working on Cx601 and Cx611, which are allogeneic rather than autologous stem cell products. They are being evaluated for the potential treatment of fistulas and immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

In other financing news:

• ThromboGenics NV, of Leuven, Belgium, strengthened its cash position by €5.1 million (US$7.2 million) through the exercise of 1.1 million warrants. The company's number of outstanding shares increased to 25.5 million. ThromboGenics, which develops drugs for vascular diseases, has several programs in the clinic, including microplasmin, which is in Phase II testing for vitreoretinal disorders and as a thrombolytic agent for vascular occlusive diseases, and TB-402 (anti-Factor VIII), which is set to enter a Phase II study next year in collaboration with Bioinvent International AB, of Lund, Sweden.

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