Vicuron Pharmaceuticals Inc. priced a public offering of stock that raised $83.1 million in gross proceeds.

The King of Prussia, Pa.-based company said it sold 6 million shares at $13.85 apiece, with the possibility of generating another $12.5 million through the sale of 900,000 more shares if the offering's underwriters exercise their 30-day overallotment option. On Friday, the company's shares (NASDAQ:MICU) gained 52 cents to close at $14.46. The offering includes 1 million more shares than originally anticipated. (See BioWorld Today, July 14, 2003.)

After the underwriters' discount, Vicuron's net proceeds would total about $89.5 million, assuming the overallotment option is taken. Following the transaction, the company said it would have 53.8 million shares outstanding. Because of a quiet period relative to the offering, Vicuron could not speak to the news.

But in its prospectus, the company said it intends to use the net proceeds primarily for clinical development of product candidates, as well as commercialization activities and general corporate purposes, including working capital and research expenses. Vicuron said it might use a portion of the funding to hire additional personnel.

Its lead product, anidulafungin, is awaiting FDA approval after the agency accepted a new drug application for the antifungal, a product that belongs to a new class of agents called echinocandins. The submission was based on a Phase III trial for esophageal candidiasis. Two other Phase III studies of the product are under way as well, investigating its use for invasive candidiasis/candidemia and in combination with liposomal amphotericin for invasive aspergillosis. (See BioWorld Today, April 29, 2003.)

The lead antibiotic in its pipeline, dalbavancin, remains in Phase III trials for Gram-positive infections. The next-generation antibiotic belongs to the same class as vancomycin.

A third product candidate, ramoplanin, is a lipopeptide antibiotic designed to selectively inhibit Gram-positive bacteria. Its partner, Genome Therapeutics Inc., of Waltham, Mass., is developing an oral formulation of ramoplanin in a Phase III study for systemic infection in hospitalized patients with vancomycin-resistant enterococci in their gastrointestinal tract.

Another candidate, VIC-Acne, is a Phase I-level antibiotic being developed as a topical cream.

Vicuron, which was formed last year through the merger of Versicor Inc. and Biosearch Italia SpA, reported $145.8 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 1, 2002.)

For the quarter, the company reported a $107.2 million net loss, though much of it was attributable to the Biosearch transaction. Excluding a write-off associated with the merger, the first-quarter net loss totaled $12.7 million. Vicuron projected a full-year net loss to range between $80 million and $85 million.

Last month, the company filed a shelf registration with the SEC to offer up to $70 million worth of common shares.

New York-based Morgan Stanley, the offering's sole bookrunner, also is acting as its co-lead manager with Pacific Growth Equities Inc., of San Francisco. Lazard Freres & Co. LLC and Harris Nesbitt Gerard Inc., both of New York, are serving as the offering's managing underwriters.