Nuvelo Inc. generated gross proceeds of $65 million after pricing more common shares than first planned.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based cardiovascular drug developer sold 5 million shares at $13 apiece. The public offering originally called for the sale of 4 million shares of common stock through a $75 million shelf registration filed in January.
Pete Garcia, Nuvelo's senior vice president and chief financial officer, declined to comment on the increased investor interest, due to SEC regulations. But on Wednesday, the company's stock (NASDAQ:NUVOD) reflected a measure of enthusiasm as the shares moved up 47 cents to close at $13.68.
The underwriters received a 30-day, 750,000-share overallotment option. UBS Securities LLC, of New York, acted as the offering's sole book-running manager, with co-management from CIBC World Markets Corp., also of New York; Needham & Co. Inc., of New York; and JMP Securities LLC, of San Francisco.
Prior to the offering, Nuvelo had about 26 million shares outstanding, a figure reached last month after the company implemented a 1-for-3 reverse stock split. As of Dec. 31, the company had about $34.7 million in cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash. It reported a $9.4 million net loss for 2004's fourth quarter.
Garcia said Nuvelo plans to use proceeds for general corporate purposes, including current and future clinical trials of its lead drug candidate, alfimeprase, as well as other research and drug development activities.
Alfimeprase, which is partnered with Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen Inc., is in Phase II trials in two indications, acute peripheral arterial occlusion and catheter occlusion. The company expects the peripheral arterial occlusion study to complete enrollment this month or next, with plans to begin Phase III work in that indication in the second half of this year. Interim analysis in the catheter occlusion study also is expected this month or next.
Another clinical-stage product, recombinant nematode anticoagulant protein c2 (rNAPc2), was acquired by Nuvelo last month. The company gained the naturally occurring protein from Seattle-based Dendreon Corp. in exchange for a $4 million up-front payment, to be followed by potential milestone and royalty fees. Prior Phase II data have demonstrated that rNAPc2 appears to reduce the risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis and its related complications; was well tolerated when added to standard therapy with unfractionated heparin, aspirin and clopidogrel in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention; and suppresses the formation of thrombin. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 6, 2004.)
Additional programs include ARC183, a thrombin inhibitor partnered with Cambridge, Mass.-based Archemix Corp. The compound, which is expected to enter Phase I development in the second half of this year, will be evaluated for use in coronary artery bypass graft surgery, percutaneous coronary intervention and other acute anticoagulant applications.
Earlier-stage drug discovery efforts at Nuvelo are focused on antibody targets and secreted proteins.