By Brady Huggett

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Xcyte Therapies Inc. filed for initial public offerings estimated at $75 million and $86.2 million, respectively.

Acadia's offering is being led by Robertson Stephens Inc., of San Francisco, with U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, of Minneapolis, acting as co-manager. Acadia focuses its genomics drug discovery and development on target-specific, small-molecule drug candidates using its technology platform integrating genomics, chemistry and biology to identify and validate drug targets and discover chemistries specific to those targets.

Acadia, of San Diego, said in its prospectus it would use the net proceeds to fund research and development activities, including research expenses and preclinical and clinical development expenses associated with its internal drug discovery programs, and capital expenditures. Any remaining net proceeds will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, although a portion may be used to acquire or invest in complementary businesses or products or to obtain the right to use complementary technologies.

As of Sept. 30, Acadia had about $29.4 million in cash, cash equivalents and investment securities. It raised $15.5 million in its mezzanine round of financing in May. Its proposed ticker symbol is ACAD. (See BioWorld Today, May 5, 2000.)

Acadia focuses its current resources on six programs that address four specific diseases: schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, chronic pain and glaucoma.

Its most advanced program is based on a target-specific drug candidate for the treatment of glaucoma. In collaboration with Allergan Inc., of Irvine, Calif., it has identified and validated a specific genomic target that controls pressure within the eye and has discovered a drug candidate, AGN 195795, that is in a Phase I/IIa trial. Data analysis from the trial should be completed in the second half of 2001, Acadia said.

Its No. 2 program is AGN 197075, for the treatment of chronic pain, also in collaboration with Allergan. This drug candidate, which does not exhibit common side effects associated with pain drugs, has been nominated for development and manufacturing, toxicology and other studies are being conducted in preparation for clinical studies.

Acadia has two internal programs in late-stage preclinical development that address separate genomic targets for treating different groups of schizophrenic patients and an internal preclinical program that focuses on treating the behavioral disorders associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Its sixth program, again with Allergan, is based on a target-specific drug candidate for glaucoma that addresses a drug target complementary to its first glaucoma program.

Xcyte's initial public offering is being led by SG Cowen Securities Corp., of New York, and participated in by U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc., of Minneapolis; Dain Rauscher Inc., of Minneapolis; and First Security Van Kasper, of San Francisco.

Xcyte, of Seattle, uses technologies to develop therapeutic products that generate immune responses to treat cancer and infectious diseases. It uses its proprietary Xcellerate Technology to activate a patient's own T cells outside of the body by mimicking normal events of the immune system.

It said in its prospectus it planned to use the net proceeds primarily for clinical trials, research and development activities, expansion of its manufacturing capacity and for general corporate purposes and working capital.

It raised $28 million in a Series D equity financing in August. As of Sept. 30, it had about $27 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. Its proposed trading symbol is XCYT.

In July, it initiated a Phase I trial of Xcellerate Therapy in patients with metastatic kidney cancer, intending to enroll a total of 25 subjects and treat them with two infusions of Xcellerated T Cells approximately four weeks apart. As of Dec. 15, 17 patients had received a total of 32 infusions and the company said it expects to complete this trial in the third quarter of 2001.