Washington Editor

Genitope Corp. anticipates raising $51.8 million by offering about 6.1 million shares of its common stock at $8.50 apiece.

Beyond that, the firm granted underwriters the right to purchase an additional 914,823 shares of common stock to cover overallotments.

All shares are being offered by Genitope, which could not be reached for comment.

The company's stock (NASDAQ:GTOP) moved up 4 cents Thursday to close at $8.94.

Genitope, of Redwood City, Calif., researches and develops immunotherapies for cancer. MyVax Personalized Immunotherapy, the firm's lead candidate, is a patient-specific active immunotherapy based on the unique genetic makeup of a patient's tumor and is designed to activate the patient's immune system to identify and attack cancer cells, the company said.

The firm in April completed registration for its pivotal Phase III trial evaluating MyVax in B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients. The first interim analysis is expected to be initiated in the second quarter of 2005.

Meanwhile, Genitope went public in October, raising $33.3 million by selling 3.7 million shares at $9 each. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 31, 2003, and Aug. 8, 2003.)

For the first quarter, Genitope reported a net loss of $6.7 million, or 40 cents per share, based on 16.8 million weighted average shares outstanding. That compares to a net loss of $5.1 million, or $2.89 per share, based on 1.8 million weighted average shares outstanding for the first quarter of 2003 when it was still private.

Total operating expenses for the first quarter were $6.7 million, compared to $5.2 million a year ago. Increases in total operating expenses over the prior year were due primarily to higher staffing levels and clinical trial costs associated with MyVax, the company said.

Genitope had about $22.9 million in cash at the end of March, compared with $29.8 million as of Dec. 31.

WR Hambrecht + Co LLC, of San Francisco, is acting as the lead underwriter. Punk, Ziegel & Co. and Brean Murray & Co. Inc., both of New York; and Stanford Group Co., of Miami, are acting as co-managers.