National Editor

With approvals pending in the U.S. and Europe for its HIV drug, Fuzeon (enfuvirtide), Trimeris Inc. priced its public offering of 2.4 million shares at $45.25 per share, which will gross the company about $108.6 million.

The net is about $102.6 million. If overallotments of 360,000 shares are exercised by underwriters, the total take for Durham, N.C.-based Trimeris would be $117.9 million.

Robin Fastenau, manager of corporate communications, said the company is in a quiet period as required by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and cannot comment until the offering is completed, which is expected to happen next week.

The offering breaks two months - almost three - of silence in the area of public offerings. No follow-ons were completed in July, August or most of September. Telik Inc., of South San Francisco, also priced an offering Friday. (See story in this issue.)

Trimeris filed a new drug application earlier this month for the fusion inhibitor, which is partnered with Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., of Nutley, N.J., and followed that days later with a similar submission in Europe. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 18, 2002.)

The offering leaves Trimeris with about 21.1 million shares outstanding.

Fuzeon, a peptide made up of 36 amino acids administered twice-daily by subcutaneous injection, works by keeping the drug out of T cells, rather than by blocking replication, as other treatments do. A second-generation fusion inhibitor candidate (also partnered with Roche), called T-1249, proved well tolerated with antiviral activity in HIV patients in Phase I/II trial results reported in July.

Trimeris has "collected clinically relevant data and expect[s] to initiate a Phase II trial with respect to T-1249 in 2003," according to the prospectus related to the offering, proceeds from which will be used for development of both compounds as well as general corporate purposes.

The offering is being conducted by a group of underwriters led by Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., of New York, and Goldman, Sachs & Co. Inc., of New York. The co-managers are Lehman Brothers Inc., of New York, and Banc of America Securities LLC, of San Francisco.

Trimeris' stock (NASDAQ:TRMS) closed Friday at $44.08, down $1.73.