West Coast Editor

Fresh from strong Phase IIb data with its hypertension drug, Myogen Inc. priced a public offering of about 4.7 million shares at $23.25 per share to raise net proceeds of about $101 million to push darusentan and the rest of the company's pipeline.

"It's going into our general working capital funds, but the primary purpose was extending the cash runway for the company, but also to accelerate and expand the darusentan clinical program," said Derek Cole, director of investor relations for Denver-based Myogen, which had about $88.4 million in cash at the end of the second quarter.

The company's stock (NASDAQ:MYOG) closed Friday at $23.76, down 20 cents.

Last month, Myogen's stock leaped more than 60 percent on positive Phase IIb data with darusentan, a type-A selective endothelin receptor antagonist for high blood pressure. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 19, 2005.)

"We're looking to have our end-of-Phase II meeting with the FDA," Cole told BioWorld Today. If the agency concurs, Myogen would "do what we've done with our previous trials" - that is, conduct two studies at once.

Another compound, ambrisentan, Myogen's small molecule for pulmonary arterial hypertension, is expected to yield top-line data before year's end from one of two pivotal trials. The second Phase III study is scheduled to complete enrollment in the next quarter, with an early peek at results expected about six months later.

In June, Myogen reported that its then-lead drug candidate for heart failure, enoximone, failed in top-line data from two Phase III trials. Earlier the firm had reported disappointing results from another Phase III study. (See BioWorld Today, June 28, 2005.)

Clinical development of enoximone tablets has been terminated, Cole said, pointing out that the company has an intravenous version, Perfan I.V., on the market for acute decompensated heart failure.

Also in cardiovascular disease, Myogen signed a deal in 2003 with Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG. That agreement was expanded this spring to include histone deacetylase inhibitors, which Myogen has been researching. (See BioWorld Today, May 27, 2005.)

A handful of New York financial institutions are helping the latest financing happen.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as the sole book-running manager of the offering with CIBC World Markets Corp., First Albany Capital Inc. and Lazard Capital Markets LLC serving as co-managers. Myogen has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to 701,262 more shares.

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