By Aaron Lorenzo
Wednesday was hardly an average workday around the offices of Transkaryotic Therapies Inc.
Early in the day, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company was given a positive recommendation in Europe on approval of Dynepo (epoetin delta) to treat anemia. In the evening, TKT announced a public offering of 2.8 million shares of common stock at a purchase price of $39 per share, for gross proceeds of about $109.2 million
¿The timing of the offering, without a doubt, was totally coincidental,¿ said Daniel Geffken, the company¿s senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer. ¿We decided late last week to consider raising the money, and we¿re monitoring it on a day-by-day basis. The CPMP [Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products] meeting had been scheduled for some time, so they just happened to run, of course, coincidentally.¿
Coincidence notwithstanding, the date will be remembered as important in company lore.
¿We¿ve got a great deal of momentum right now,¿ Geffken said. ¿We¿re 13 years old, we¿re launching our first product, and the pipeline is moving along pretty nicely. This financing comes at an opportune time.¿
All of the shares were offered by TKT. Underwriters have an option to purchase up to 420,000 additional shares to cover overallotments. When the deal closes, the company will have in the neighborhood of 33 million shares outstanding.
The offering¿s managers include SG Cowen Securities Corp. and Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Co-managers are Pacific Growth Equities Inc. and Leerink Swann & Co.
As of Sept. 30, TKT reported close to $275 million in cash and marketable securities.
The Dynepo news marked a significant step for the company as well. Developed with Aventis Pharma AG, of Frankfurt, Germany, Dynepo is a human erythropoietin for the treatment of anemia associated with renal disease. If approved, Aventis will be responsible for the marketing and distribution of Dynepo in the EU¿s 15 countries.
¿The CPMP positive opinion was also an important development for the company, and what that means to us is that the first two programs that we put into clinic are now approved, or are going to be approved,¿ Geffken said. ¿We¿re certainly proud of that ¿ the ability to develop drugs and get them approved.¿
The company reported good news from Europe in the third quarter as well. Its Replagal (agalsidase alfa) enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry disease received marketing approval in the EU in August.
¿One thing that a lot of people are focusing in on is the success of that launch in Europe, as well as additional approvals throughout the world,¿ Geffken said. ¿That¿s the key driver here right now.¿
TKT intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the common stock for general corporate purposes, including expanding its manufacturing capabilities, expanding clinical trials, funding preclinical testing and other research and development programs, and building its sales and marketing capabilities for its Niche Protein products.
Another program moving through the company¿s pipeline is a gene-activated protein, iduronate-2-sulfatase, for Hunter syndrome.
¿That¿s in a Phase I/II study right now that will be completed in the spring,¿ Geffken said. ¿If the results of that program are positive, or as we expect, we think we will be in a pivotal study in the second half of next year.¿
TKT¿s stock (NASDAQ:TKTX) fell 25 cents Thursday to close at $39.20.