Aphton Corp. raised gross proceeds of $12.6 million by selling 1.2 million shares at $10.50 per share money that will be used to fund Aphton’s ongoing clinical trials and operations.

Aphton, of Miami, is developing products using its vaccine-like technology for neutralizing hormones that participate in gastrointestinal and reproductive system cancer and noncancer diseases, as well as for the prevention of pregnancy.

Chairman, President and CEO Philip Gevas, when contacted, referred to prepared statements and SEC filings for information concerning the financing.

In a filing with the SEC, the company said that it expects the latest funding to carry it through the end of 2002.

Aphton has one Phase III study and three Phase II trials under way. The Phase III trial is with its anti-gastrin vaccine for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. The vaccine contains antibodies to neutralize gastrin 17, a hormone that is released after eating and is linked to cancer.

The same anti-gastrin vaccine is the subject of Aphton’s two Phase II trials one for patients with colorectal cancer who are no longer responding to chemotherapy, and the other for patients diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer.

Aphton also has a Phase II trial under way in the United States and Europe using GnRH pharmaccine, a therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of chronic diseases and cancer. The Phase II trial is evaluating the product in prostate cancer patients who are no longer responding to hormone therapy.

The most recent financing was managed by Morgan Keegan & Co., of Memphis, Tenn. In early February, Aphton raised gross proceeds of $17.1 million by selling about 1.3 million shares of stock at $12.70 per share. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 6, 2002.)

Aphton has strategic alliances with Aventis Pasteur, of Lyon, France, and GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London.

Aphton’s stock (NASDAQ:APHT) rose 10 cents to close at $11.70 on Friday.