Antigenics Inc. said it raised about $62 million through the sale of 6.25 million shares of common stock in a public offering.

The New York-based company said in its prospectus it would use the proceeds to fund additional trials of its lead product candidates, and for clinical trials and preclinical studies of other product candidates; for potential licenses and acquisitions of complementary technologies and products; and for working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes.

"This puts us in a strong position as our programs mature," Sunny Uberoi, Antigenics' vice president of corporate communications, told BioWorld Today. "This decision was very prudent, especially in today's market."

Specifically, Uberoi said Antigenics is moving ahead with programs to treat renal cell carcinoma, melanoma and leukemia, the latter being addressed in an upcoming Phase II trial of AG-858.

Antigenics develops products to treat cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders. Its products include Oncophage, a personalized cancer vaccine being tested in Phase II and III trials, and the liposomal products ATRA-IV and Aroplatin in Phase II cancer trials.

The offering resulted from a registration statement covering $100 million in securities that became effective in August.

Of the 6.25 million shares sold, 3.45 million were sold to an underwriting syndicate managed by UBS Warburg LLC, of New York; Needham & Company Inc., of New York; Morgan Keegan & Company Inc., of Memphis, Tenn.; and Ryan Beck & Co., of New York. An additional 2.8 million were sold directly by the company to an unnamed existing shareholder. UBS Warburg acted as the transaction's lead underwriter.

The underwriters also have an option to purchase up to 517,500 shares to cover overallotments.

For the period ended Sept. 30, Antigenics reported about 33 million shares outstanding as well as $70.5 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. In the quarter, the company reported a $13.2 million loss, compared to a $44 million loss in the corresponding prior-year quarter, a loss due in part to a noncash charge of $32.4 million related to the write-off of in-process research and development acquired in connection with the acquisition of The Woodlands, Texas-based Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The total amount is higher than Antigenics' planned offering reported two weeks ago - at the time it said it planned to publicly offer about 4.5 million shares of its common stock, a follow-on sale that would have resulted in net proceeds of about $48 million. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 10, 2003.)

Its shares (NASDAQ:AGEN) closed Thursday at $10.47, up 44 cents.

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