Avalon Pharmaceuticals Inc. is raising $20 million through a private placement of stock and warrants.

The Germantown, Md., company is selling up to 3.84 million shares at $5.21 per share. Investors also would get five-year warrants to purchase up to 959,693 additional shares at $6 per share. Shares of Avalon (NASDAQ:AVRX) gained 16 cents Friday to close at $5.33.

Avalon in January raised about $10 million in a direct placement of 3 million shares at $3.34 per share. The company on March 31 reported 12.41 million shares outstanding, with $24.6 million in cash and equivalents, $5.5 million of it restricted. Its net loss for the first quarter was $5.3 million.

Avalon is preparing for Phase II trials of AVN944 in both hematological cancers and solid tumors. The product is an oral inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibitor.

Encouraging results have been seen in interim data from an ongoing Phase I trial of AVN944 in hematological malignancies. In addition to early data on disease stabilization, Avalon has reported that correlation of biomarkers and clinical activity suggested gene expression patterns in patients' malignant cells may predict those patients most likely to benefit from AVN944 treatment.

Avalon also has several compounds in the preclinical and research stages of development, as well as five ongoing partnerships.

In other financing news:

BioSante Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Lincolnshire, Ill., entered into definitive agreements with institutional and other accredited investors on a private placement of about 2.75 million shares at $6 per share, for expected gross proceeds of about $16.5 million. Investors also would get warrants to purchase 688,750 additional shares at $8 per share. Rodman & Renshaw LLC is lead placement agent, with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. also an agent for the deal. Funds will be used to continue and expand BioSante's previously announced Phase III clinical program of LibiGel (transdermal testosterone gel) for treatment of female sexual dysfunction. BioSante's stock (AMEX:BPA) fell 35 cents Friday to close at $6.50.

• Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said underwriters exercised their overallotment option to purchase an additional 900,000 shares at the initial public offering price of $10 per share. The IPO, priced Tuesday, now totals 6.9 million shares and $69 million in gross proceeds. The company's stock (NASDAQ:SIRT) gained $1.64, or 15 percent, Friday to close at $12.59. (See BioWorld Today, May 24, 2007.)

• Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., priced $4 billion of notes being sold in a private placement: $1.1 billion of 5.85 percent senior notes due 2017; $900 million of 6.375 percent senior notes due 2037; and $2 billion of 18-month floating-rate senior notes. The sale is expected to close Wednesday. Amgen said it expects proceeds to go toward the purchase of about $3 billion worth of shares of its common stock, with remaining proceeds to be added to its working capital for general corporate purposes.

• Inovio Biomedical Corp., of San Diego, closed a previously announced direct sale of about 4.6 million shares of stock to institutional and accredited investors in Singapore and North America. Shares were sold at $3.52 each, resulting in gross proceeds of about $16.2 million. Inovio shares (AMEX:INO) closed at $4.10 Friday, unchanged. (See BioWorld Today, May 17, 2007.)

• Vasogen Inc., of Mississauga, Ontario, closed its previously announced $16 million financing. The company privately placed the shares at $3.25 each. Investors also got five-year warrants to purchase an additional 3.7 million common shares at $3.16 per share. Vasogen now has about 22.4 million shares outstanding. Rodman & Renshaw LLC and JMP Securities LLC were placement agents. (See BioWorld Today, May 21, 2007.)

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