By Brady Huggett

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. filed a registration statement with the SEC to offer 4 million shares of common stock, which, based on Thursday's closing price would raise $146.7 million.

Regeneron's stock (NASDAQ:REGN) closed Friday at $33.125, down $3.562, or nearly 10 percent. It has 36.7 million shares outstanding.

The offering is being underwritten by Merrill Lynch & Co., of New York; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., of New York; and Robertson Stephens Inc., of San Francisco. Regeneron, of Tarrytown, N.Y., is offering 600,000 shares to the underwriters to cover overallotments. Company officials were in a quiet period and could not comment on the offering.

Regeneron focuses on commercializing therapeutic drugs. It has expanded its initial focus on degenerative neurologic diseases to include drug candidates for the treatment of obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, allergies, asthma, ischemia and other diseases and disorders.

It uses its Targeted Genomic and Functionomics technology platforms to discover specific genes of therapeutic interest for a particular disease or cell type. It also utilizes its Designer Protein Therapeutic platform to genetically engineer product candidates.

With these platforms, Regeneron has constructed its pipeline. It has an anti-obesity drug, Axokine, a second-generation ciliary neurotrophic factor that is intended to regulate food intake and energy expenditure. In late November, it reported favorable Phase II results for the product. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 29, 2000.)

Its product VEGF Trap is an antagonist to vascular endothelial growth factor, required for the growth of blood vessels in tumors. The potential treatment for cancer is expected to enter clinical trials in 2001.

Regeneron has Angiopoietins, a family of growth factors, which are specific for blood vessels and early hemopoietic stem cells that is in preclinical testing.

It also has a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, in clinical trials. It promotes survival of the spinal cord neurons that die in amyotropic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Lastly, it has neurotrophin-3, or NT-3, which acts on the neurons of the intestinal tract and is in clinical trials for the treatment of constipating disorders.

Regeneron signed a $64 million deal with Procter & Gamble, of Cincinnati, in August, for joint research in areas selected by P&G. The deal came as the companies' 1997 deal was completed. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 7, 2000.)

Regeneron's year-end results showed the company had about $154 million in cash and marketable securities. It reported a net loss of $23.2 million for 2000, compared to a net loss of $23.1 million in 1999, and its total revenue in 2000 increased to $67.8 million, up from $39.7 million in 1999.