Cancer drug company OncoGenex Technologies Inc. filed for its initial public offering, hoping to raise $48 million to fund development and manufacturing activities for late-stage trials of its lead product, OGX-011.

The number of shares and share price have not been specified, though the Vancouver, British Columbia-based firm is seeking a dual listing to trade on both the Nasdaq under "OGXI" and the Toronto Stock Exchange under "OGX."

In its prospectus, OncoGenex said proceeds, along with $10.9 million in cash as of Nov. 30, would get the company through "at least" early 2009. Money would be used to complete five ongoing Phase II trials of OGX-011, which are expected to cost about $1 million, and wrap up preclinical and Phase I work on OGX-427, expected to cost about $1.5 million.

But the biggest chunk of proceeds - $23.5 million - is being earmarked for the manufacturing clinical drug supplies and the start of a first Phase III study of OGX-011, a drug aimed at reducing the production of the cell-survival protein clusterin to enhance or restore treatment sensitivity and delay tumor progression.

OGX-011 is being tested in prostate cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer and breast cancer. Three of the five Phase II trials are fully enrolled, and data are expected from all studies by the end of next year.

Like OGX-011, OncoGenex's second candidate, OGX-427, also aims at enhancing or restoring treatment sensitivity and delaying tumor progression, but instead of targeting clusterin, OGX-427 is designed to reduce heat-shock protein 27 production. Hsp27 is a cell survival protein that is over-produced in response to many cancer treatments, such as hormone ablation therapy, chemotherapy and radiation. The company expects to file an investigational new drug for that product in 2007, with a Phase I study to begin by mid-year.

In preclinical development, OncoGenex has OGX-225, which is designed to reduce production of both insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-5 to enhance treatment sensitivity and delay tumor progression in patients who are resistant to hormone ablation therapy.

The company, which posted a net loss of $8.1 million for the first nine months of this year, has a total net loss of about $20 million since its 2000 inception.

Principal shareholders include: Vancouver-based Venture West 7 Ltd. Partnership, which owns 2.8 million shares, or 25 percent; Barbados-based H.I.G. Horizon Corp, with 2.2 million shares, or 20 percent; Vancouver-based Working Opportunity Fund Ltd., with 1.5 million shares, or 14 percent; Calgary, Alberta-based BDC Capital Inc., with 1.4 million shares, or 12 percent; and Toronto-based Milestone Medica Corp., with 779,734 shares, or 7 percent.

As of Dec. 7, OncoGenex had about 11.1 million shares outstanding.

RBC Capital Markets, of New York, will be the sole lead manager for the offering, with Needham & Co. LLC, of New York; Lazard Capital Markets LLC, also of New York; Canaccord Adams Inc., of Vancouver; and Susquehanna Financial Group LLLP, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., serving as co-managers.

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