West Coast Editor

On the heels of an encouraging meeting with the FDA regarding Phase III trials of the company's drug for ovarian cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer, Telik Inc. said it plans to pull down cash through an offering of about 5 million shares under a shelf registration filed in June.

At $14.12 per share, which was the last sale price of its stock before the company's prospectus supplement was filed, the offering would raise $70.6 million. Telik said underwriters would have an option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares to cover overallotments.

The South San Francisco-based firm's stock (NASDAQ:TELK) closed Thursday at $13.37, down 93 cents.

Telik, which did not return phone calls, has said it plans to begin the first Phase III registration trial with the drug, TLK286, in platinum-refractory or resistant ovarian cancer by the first quarter of 2003. The meeting with the FDA occurred earlier this month.

TLK286 is small-molecule compound that starts apoptosis when activated by glutathione S-transferase P1-1, an enzyme overexpressed in many human cancers. Higher levels of GST P1-1 also correlate with chemotherapeutic drug resistance.

In May, Telik offered preliminary results of a Phase II trial of TLK286 in patients with advanced, platinum-resistant, non-small-cell lung cancer, showing the drug had single-agent antitumor activity in patients with highly resistant disease. Another Phase II trial's early data showed significant single-agent activity in advanced ovarian cancer.

The company also has TLK199, a small-molecule white blood cell booster, in Phase I/IIa trials with myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of pre-leukemia, and is developing a family of orally active insulin receptor activators for diabetes.

All were developed using the firm's TRAP chemogenomics technology, which boasts quicker, more efficient screening of compounds, measuring the binding of a small molecule to a proprietary reference panel of proteins to create a profile for each compound.

The company has other anticancer agents in development, along with small molecules for inflammatory disorders.