The numbers tell quite a story at 454 Life Sciences, which raised $20 million in an equity financing with existing shareholders.

Of the total sum, $16 million came from CuraGen Corp., already Branford, Conn.-based 454's majority owner, which increased its stake to 66 percent following its investment. Other existing investors, including Cooper Hill Partners LLC, purchased the remainder of the equity.

454 is in the midst of planning to commercialize its genome-scale analysis technologies, which use a massively parallel, scalable platform that compresses time, cost, sample preparation and space needed to determine the nucleotide sequence of whole genomes. The company recently spent just one day to sequence an entire adenovirus, then submitted it to GenBank, the genetic sequence database managed by the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 22, 2003.)

Its commercialization plans include the sale of instruments and providing genomic sequencing services, with both activities set to begin in the first half of next year.

Formed in 2000, Privately held 454's initial investors included CuraGen, of New Haven, Conn., members of its management team, as well as Cooper Hill and Quantum Partners, both of New York.

Nanogen Raises $16 Million In Stock, Warrant Sale

Nanogen Inc. signed agreements to sell common stock and warrants to several accredited investors for potential gross proceeds of about $16 million.

In the initial closing, the San Diego-based company will gross $7 million through the sale of about 2.1 million common shares at $3.30 apiece, a per-share figure based on a negotiated discount from the average of the closing prices for the five trading days ended Sept. 16. Nanogen's stock (NASDAQ:NGEN) dropped 71 cents Thursday, or 14.8 percent, to close at $4.08.

The investors also will receive five-year warrants to purchase 424,243 additional common shares at $4.75 apiece, one-year warrants to purchase 530,305 common shares at $4.75 apiece and six-month warrants to purchase about 1.1 million common shares at $4.14 apiece. Subject to customary closing conditions, the financing is estimated to close today.

The company lost $6.9 million in the quarter ended June 30, through which it had about 21.5 million shares outstanding. Nanogen, which reported $28.5 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at the end of the same three-month period, said the added capital would provide added flexibility in development of its molecular diagnostics technology and products.

Seven Hills Partners LLC acted as the financing's exclusive placement agent.

Cel-Sci In Agreement To Raise Up To $10 Million

Cel-Sci Corp. entered a binding agreement to gain up to $10 million in equity financing from its largest institutional investor.

Under the two-year equity line of credit agreement, the Vienna, Va.-based company will have the right to obtain as much as $10 million through the issuance of common stock, at a discount to market, through a series of periodic sales. Subject to certain volume limitations, the amount and minimum price per share of each sale are at the sole discretion of Cel-Sci.

The sales are subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions, including the effectiveness of a registration statement filed with the SEC covering the resale of shares covered by the equity line and certain related warrants.

Cel-Sci, which reported a net loss of $1.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, had about 54 million shares outstanding through the same period.

Cel-Sci is developing its cancer product Multikine for head and neck cancer. The company's stock (AMEX:CVM) fell 1 cent Thursday to close at 82 cents.

Progen Looks To Secure $6.4 Million Down Under

Progen Industries Ltd. entered an agreement to raise A$9.6 million (U.S. $6.4 million) through a private placement of 6 million common shares at A$1.60 (US$1.07 million) apiece to Australian investors.

Its shares (NASDAQ: PGLAF) gained 5 cents Thursday to close at $1.35.

The transaction remains subject to shareholder approval.

The Brisbane, Australia-based company said the funding would increase its cash reserves to A$20 million. The company plans to use the funds for building its pipeline. Its lead product, PI-88, is an anti-angiogenesis cancer drug that has shown promise in clinical trials, Progen said. The company is looking to partner the product, which is in Phase I/II work.

The placement agreement was signed with Taylor Collison Ltd., which acted as the deal's lead broker with support from Emerging Growth Capital Pty. Ltd.

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