By Karen Young

Interneuron Pharmaceuticals Inc. raised $25 million through a private placement of 3.125 million shares of common stock to institutional investors

It sold the shares for about $8 per share. As of Dec. 7, Interneuron had 43.2 million shares of common stock outstanding, according to a 10-K filing on Dec. 13.

Interneuron, of Lexington, Mass., plans to use the money to further product development and business development activities. It has six compounds in clinical trials. The company reported cash and equivalents of about $32.2 million on Sept. 30. Legg Mason Wood Walker, of Baltimore, acted as the placement agent for the transaction.

Pagoclone, a novel GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) receptor agonist, is the company¿s lead product. It is in Phase III trials for panic disorder and in Phase II trials for generalized anxiety disorder with Pfizer Inc., of New York, which licensed exclusive, worldwide rights to the drug from Interneuron in December 1999. According to its 10-K filing, Interneuron had received $16.75 million to date under the Pfizer agreement and ¿is entitled to receive up to an additional $62 million in payments contingent upon the achievement of clinical and regulatory milestones.¿

In September, Interneuron began a Phase III trial with trospium, a muscarinic receptor antagonist, for incontinence in patients with overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. It acquired exclusive U.S. marketing rights to this drug from Germany-based Madaus AG in November 1999. Interneuron is responsible for all U.S. clinical development and will make regulatory, milestone and royalty payments to Madaus.

Interneuron has IP 501, an anti-fibrotic compound, in Phase III trials for cirrhosis of the liver. It owns commercial rights to the drug in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Korea.

Another drug, citicoline, has completed Phase III trials for ischemic stroke. Interneuron entered an agreement with Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd., of Japan, in December 1999 for that company to commercialize the compound in the U.S. and Canada. Since then, Interneuron reacquired those rights, but said in its 10-K filing that it will not develop the drug further until another partner is found. Also, PRO 2000, a topical vaginal microbicide, is in Phase II trials for prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

Dersalazine, an anti-inflammatory compound that is a new chemical entity combining activity against several inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-alpha, with the standard first line therapy for IBD, 5-aminosalicylic acid, is in Phase I trials for inflammatory bowel disease. The company announced in October that it had licensed exclusive worldwide rights to the drug from J. Uriach & Cia. SA, of Barcelona, Spain. Interneuron gained worldwide marketing rights to dersalazine, except in Spain, where Uriach retains a co-marketing option. Interneuron is responsible for clinical development, regulatory activities and commercialization.