By Matthew Willett

Corvas International Inc. completed a public offering of 5.75 million shares, raising about $115 million. The total includes the underwriters' purchase of 750,000 shares to cover overallotments.

That funding, from which Corvas estimates it will realize a net of about $107.5 million, is earmarked for clinical development of the company's anticoagulant program for deep-vein thrombosis, its foray into oncology therapeutics and advancement of its lead candidate, UK-279,276, a treatment for reperfusion injury related to ischemic stroke.

Corvas, headquartered in San Diego, had about $30.9 million in the bank as of Sept. 30, prior to pricing the offering. Following the offering it has about 26.2 million shares outstanding.

Gwenetta Como, Corvas' director of investor relations and corporate communications, said how much advancement the offering will fund is difficult to determine.

"Historically, our annual burn rate has been about $10 million," Como told BioWorld Today. "We've publicly stated in the past that we have cash for at least two years, but how long our current cash will last depends on our burn rate going forward and numerous other factors we can't go into much detail about at this time."

Phase II tests of UK-279,276 are under way to evaluate the drug. Corvas partners with Pfizer Inc., of New York, for development of the recombinant protein.

Como said the company expects to complete that trial soon and plans to begin a Phase IIb efficacy trial by the end of the year for UK-279,276.

The company plans to begin a Phase III trial of its therapeutic candidate for deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, rNAPc2, in the second half of 2001, she added.

Corvas' entry into the cancer therapeutic area also is pending, and the company expects to move a compound into human testing by next year as well, Como said.

Corvas's stock (NASDAQ:CVAS) closed Wednesday at $26.75, up 43.75 cents.

No Comments