By Matthew Willett

GLYCOdesign Inc. closed its initial public offering, selling 2.13 million shares for proceeds of C$25 million (US$16.26 million).

CEO Jeremy Carver said the offering at C$11.75 per share was a vote of confidence in the company, headquartered in Toronto.

"It was quite an achievement, given the market," Carver told BioWorld Today. "We see it as a vote of confidence in our program. We have been in existence for six years now and been busy keeping analysts and institutional investors informed. We're satisfied. It was a pretty choppy market but we got what we wanted, and we have proceeds now to expand and accelerate our programs the way we'd hoped."

The company bases its drug discovery efforts on glycobiology, the study of sugars in biological systems. Its clinical program, for which Carver said the IPO proceeds are earmarked, includes therapeutics for treatment of cardiovascular diseases, infectious disease, cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Its lead anticancer compound, GD0039, is in Phase II testing.

"We currently have four Phase II clinical trials going on with our lead anticancer, GD0039," he said. "The plan is to open additional trials in Europe and the U.S. for the renal cancer indication as well as additional Phase II trials in other tumor types next year. We'll have a considerable clinical program in cancer next year."

Funding from the IPO also will support development of the company's lead cardiovascular treatment, an antithrombotic agent that's scheduled to enter the clinic next year.

An expanding clinical program is the main reason Carver said the IPO came at a good time to get a boost in its financial position. After the offering the company has about C$50 million in cash, Carver said. After the IPO, GLYCOdesign has 11.9 million shares outstanding.

"We're looking at how best to strategically use the resources we've raised, and we think with the most aggressive scenario we'd go for about two and a half years," he said. "In a more prudent scenario we might chop the burn a bit."

The company's lead institutional owner is Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund Inc., which holds an 18 percent stake. Working Ventures Canadian Fund Inc. holds 14.3 percent of the company.

The stock (TSE:GD) closed Thursday at C$9.50.