Targeted Genetics Corp. raked in $25.5 million by way of a public financing, the latest in a recent string of biotech investments.

The Seattle-based gene therapy company sold 10.9 million common shares at $2.35 apiece, a placement conducted in accordance with an 11.6 million-share shelf registration statement filed in August. On Monday, its stock (NASDAQ:TGEN) dropped 14 cents to close at $2.41.

The transaction marks the third completed follow-on offering of common shares among biotech companies since the start of the new year. There also have been more than 30 private placements of equity, including sales of stock, debt and warrants.

For Targeted Genetics, whose representatives declined to comment due to regulatory restrictions, the stock sale generated net proceeds of $23.7 million. Last summer, the company raised $17.5 million through a public offering of about 7.7 million shares at $2.25 each. (See BioWorld Today, June 16, 2003.)

Targeted Genetics said it would apply the latest funding to general corporate purposes, including working capital. It reported cash reserves of $26.1 million as of Sept. 30, at which time Targeted Genetics had about 61.3 million shares outstanding. The company posted a $4.8 million net loss in the third quarter.

The company's primary program features a lead drug candidate, tgAAVCF, for cystic fibrosis. The product, which uses an adeno-associated virus vector delivery system, is in clinical development. Last summer, Targeted Genetics moved it into a Phase IIb study in collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. At one time, tgAAVCF was partnered with Celltech Group plc, before the Slough, UK-based company terminated the four-year-old agreement just more than a year ago. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 8, 2002.)

Targeted Genetics' pipeline features other programs, as well. For cancer, it has advanced a candidate labeled tgDCC-E1A into clinical studies, and plans to pursue a collaborative partnership for further development. The company's preclinical programs are exploring therapies for AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis and hemophilia.

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