By Matthew Willett

Matrix Pharmaceuticals Inc. filed a shelf registration with the SEC covering up to $30 million in securities to be offered at the company¿s discretion.

The future financing is designed to fund launch of IntraDose (cisplatin/epinephrine) Injectable Gel, new product acquisitions, capital expenditures and working capital needs.

Matrix¿s director of investor relations and corporate communications, Jeff Cooper, said the shelf registration gives the company the flexibility it needs to finance commercialization.

¿We¿re hoping to commercialize our lead product, IntraDose, subject to FDA approval,¿ Cooper told BioWorld Today. ¿We felt it would be a good time to consider raising capital to help finance our marketing and sales efforts to commercialize that product, and also, as a part of our development plan, we¿d like to potentially acquire different products and compounds to deepen our pipeline.¿

Matrix, he added, has no firm plans yet related to selling the securities, but he said the company has been hard at work putting a marketing and sales force in place in preparation for IntraDose¿s launch.

¿We¿ve already done a number of market studies, talking to physicians, and we¿re well on our way in terms of infrastructure and work to prepare the product for launch,¿ he said.

IntraDose is a collagen-based gel product that incorporates cisplatin and epinephrine.

Matrix presented Phase III data from two trials on the solid tumor therapeutic at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in San Francisco earlier this month. Data indicated that patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck who received IntraDose by direct intratumoral injection exhibited objective tumor response and benefit within between seven and 162 days. The combined trial results showed a response rate of 29 percent in the treatment group.

IntraDose has completed two pivotal trials in refractory or recurrent head and neck cancer. Matrix based its regulatory package for the gel on data from 178 patients in those trials.

Matrix began submitting a rolling new drug application for IntraDose in May 2000, completing the three-part application in January. In March, Matrix said the FDA accepted the submission.

Last July Matrix raised $31 million through the private placement of 12.5 million shares of common stock at $12.50 each to fund preparations for IntraDose¿s launch. It reported $48.5 million in cash and equivalents on March 31, with a net loss of $6.6 million for the quarter. It reported about 26 million shares outstanding.

The company¿s shares (NASDAQ:MATX) gained 23 cents Friday, closing at $11.41.

No Comments