By Randall Osborne

West Coast Editor

Gearing up to market its radioisotope conjugate against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Idec Pharmaceuticals Corp. filed to sell 2 million shares of stock, which would raise $427.5 million at Friday's closing price of $213.75.

Idec, of San Diego, submitted a biologics license application last week for Zevalin (ibritumomab tiuxetan), designed for the treatment of low-grade, or follicular, relapsed or refractory CD20-positive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and rituximab-refractory follicular NHL. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 2, 2000.)

After the offering, Idec will have 47.2 million shares outstanding. The company's shares (NASDAQ:IDPH) closed Monday at $209.062, down $4.687.

Zevalin is a mouse monoclonal antibody targeted against the CD20 antigen found on normal mature B cells and cancerous B cells, conjugated to a yttrium-90 radioisotope and administered with Rituxan, Idec's non-radiolabeled chimeric antibody against CD20.

In August, Idec began a multicenter Phase II trial of its primatized, non-depleting anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody clenoliximab (IDEC-151), testing the drug in 130 patients in combination with methotrexate as a treatment for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 8, 2000.)

For its macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), which has been shown to override anti-inflammatory properties of corticosteroids, Idec signed a deal in June worth up to $35 million with Tokyo-based Taisho Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Another overseas collaboration is with Berlin-based Schering AG for marketing rights to Zevalin. (See BioWorld Today, June 11, 1999; and June 29, 2000.)

In the offering, Idec is granting underwriters an option to buy up to 300,000 additional shares of its common stock to cover overallotments, if any. In the U.S., underwriters are Merrill Lynch & Co. and Salomon Smith Barney, of New York, and Banc of America Securities LLC, of San Francisco. Worldwide underwriters are Merrill Lynch International, Salomon Smith Barney and Bank of America International Ltd.

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