MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is developing drugs based on its aerosol delivery technology, registered to raise up to $86.25 million in an initial public offering.
The Mountain View, Calif., company's lead products, both expected to enter Phase III testing in 2008, are unit-dose budesonide for pediatric asthma and MAP0004 for migraine.
The company, which already has reported positive Phase II data from both programs, intends to market them itself in the U.S. through a sales force targeting pediatricians and neurologists.
The UDB product is a nebulized version of the corticosteroid budesonide and is designed to offer the advantages of quicker administration and lower doses than conventional nebulized budesonide, the leading treatment for pediatric asthma that generated $700 million in U.S. sales in 2006, MAP said.
MAP0004 is an inhaled version of dihydroergotamine, or DHE, intended to treat migraine. The product is designed to provide quicker and/or more convenient pain relief than oral triptans or intravenous DHE.
The company also is developing MAP0005, a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta-agonist, for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A Phase IIa trial is expected to begin later this year. A fourth product candidate is MAP0001, an inhalable formulation of insulin for Type I and Type II diabetes. It has completed a Phase Ia study.
Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. are joint book-running managers for the offering. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. is co-lead manager. The company, which had $62.1 million in cash as of March 31, intends to list its stock on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "MAPP."
In other financing news:
• Cequent Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it closed a $14 million Series A financing round, which was completed by an investment from the Novartis Option Fund. Ampersand Ventures, Nexus Medical Partners and Pappas Ventures opened the round in November. Cequent is developing products to deliver RNAi-based treatments for therapeutic applications. In a separate agreement, Novartis gained an option for a therapeutic inflammatory bowel disease program based on Cequent's TransKingdom RNA interference technology. The specific target and terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Cequent was established in 2006 based on research originating at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School.
• Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Emeryville, Calif., said it plans to offer 6 million shares from an effective shelf registration. Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. are joint book-running managers. The underwriting group also includes J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and Banc of America Securities LLC. They would have an overallotment option on 900,000 additional shares. The sale of 6 million shares would gross about $184 million based on Friday's closing price. Onyx's stock (NASDAQ:ONXX) fell $1.64 Monday to close at $29.10.
• Med BioGene Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said it received commitments from investors for another C$305,000 investment. The first tranche of the financing, which closed June 1, resulted in gross proceeds of about C$3.1 million (US$2.9 million). The new investors are purchasing 677,500 units at C$0.45 per unit. Each unit consists of one share and one three-year warrant exercisable at C$0.65 per share. The company is developing genetic biomarkers to improve screening, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment decisions for patients suffering from certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. Fraser Mackenzie Ltd. is placement agent for the financing.
• Acusphere Inc., of Watertown, Mass., closed its previously announced registered direct offering of 7.69 million units at $2.60 per unit, raising gross proceeds of $20 million. Each unit consists of one common share and one five-year warrant to purchase 0.4 shares of common stock at $3.10 per full share. Cowen and Co. LLC was exclusive placement agent for the deal.
• Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc., of Bothell, Wash., said its planned placement of 15.79 million common shares with foreign institutional investors was priced at £0.95 per share, for gross proceeds of £15 million (US$29.7 million). The price reflects the intended 15-1 reverse stock split of its outstanding shares. The placement was expected to close Friday.