Washington Editor

The men's health firm GTx Inc. is raising about $60.8 million through a registered direct offering of its common stock.

In the offering, GTx will sell about 3.8 million shares at $16 each to selected institutional investors. That per-share price represents a 4.7 percent discount to the stock's Dec. 12 closing price. The company is selling the shares pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement previously filed with the SEC.

GTx expects about $57.4 million in net proceeds. The company had about $70.9 million in cash and cash equivalents through Oct. 7.

The biopharmaceutical company, of Memphis, Tenn., plans to use proceeds to fund clinical trials and other research and development activities, in addition to working capital and general corporate purposes. Its portfolio includes two late-stage products that are marching toward the finish.

GTx's lead product, Acapodene (toremifene citrate), is in two pivotal Phase III trials. The selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) is being developed to treat both the side effects of androgen-deprivation therapy for advanced prostate cancer, and for the prevention of prostate cancer in high-risk men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).

The company recently out-licensed overseas rights to the drug to Paris-based Ipsen SA in a deal valued at nearly $80 million. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 7, 2006.)

The other advanced product in GTx's pipeline, ostarine, is expected to enter a Phase IIb study for cancer cachexia by next summer.

A first-in-class selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), it also could have potential in end-stage renal disease muscle wasting, frailty and osteoporosis.

Also in its SARM portfolio is andarine, a product GTx controls after terminating its 2004 agreement with New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson earlier this week.

Lazard Capital Markets LLC, of New York, acted as the offering's lead placement agent. Cowen and Co. LLC, also of New York, was the co-placement agent. The placement is expected to close Dec. 18.

On Thursday, GTx's stock (NASDAQ:GTXI) gained 59 cents to close at $17.25.

In other financing news:

• Advanced Magnetics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., raised about $130.2 million in gross proceeds after closing a public offering of about 2.1 million common shares at $62 apiece. The company, which develops superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles used in pharmaceutical products, has granted the underwriters a 30-day overallotment option to purchase up to an additional 315,450 shares. Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. acted as the sole book-running manager, and UBS Securities LLC acted as the joint lead manager. Co-managers included Jefferies & Co. Inc. and ThinkEquity Partners LLC.

• Biopure Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., raised $16.6 million in net proceeds after closing an underwritten public offering of stock and warrants. Hemopure's blood substitute product was the subject of an FDA advisory committee meeting Thursday that could clarify a clinical trial hold, and the company plans to use proceeds for general corporate and working capital purposes. In the placement, Biopure sold about 28.4 million common shares and 28.4 million warrants to acquire a number of new shares, including about 3.4 million shares and 3.4 million warrants granted to the underwriters for overallotments. The price for one share and one warrant was 64 cents, and the exercise price of each warrant is 80 cents. The five-year warrants are callable by Biopure after six months, provided that the weighted average price of its stock for 10 consecutive days is more than $1.20. Dawson James Securities Inc. acted as the offering's managing underwriter.

• China Biopharma Inc., of Princeton, N.J., raised $3 million in a secured convertible debt financing. The biopharmaceutical company also issued Class A and Class B warrants to purchase a total of 12 million common shares at an exercise price of 30 cents and 40 cents per share, respectively. China Biopharma, which is focused on developing and distributing human vaccine products in China, plans to use its proceeds for product development and market expansion, as well as general corporate and working capital purposes.

• Geron Corp., of Menlo Park, Calif., is raising $40 million in gross proceeds after entering a definitive agreement to directly sell 5 million common shares to institutional investors at $8 apiece. The company also will issue warrants with a 75-day exercise period to purchase an additional $15 million of stock at the same price, and longer-term warrants exercisable after 180 days to purchase 3 million shares at an undisclosed premium. Geron said it is seeking to maintain a strong balance sheet as it progresses into multiple trials next year, including several studies of its anticancer telomerase inhibitor, GRN163L, an initial trial of its cancer vaccine and a study of a telomerase activator called TAT0002 for patients with HIV/AIDS. In addition, the company expects to file in 2007 an investigational new drug application to treat spinal cord injury using therapeutic cells derived from human embryonic stem cells.

• Introgen Therapeutics Inc., of Austin, Texas, is selling about 5 million shares for gross proceeds of $24 million to fund working capital and general corporate purposes, including the development of ongoing clinical programs Advexin, INGN 241 and others. Mulier Capital Ltd., of London, acted as sole placement agent.