By Randall Osborne

West Coast Editor

Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. raised $704 million through a public offering of 11 million shares at $64 per share.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm hauled down an amount well above the middle range between its share price at the time of shelf registration in August, which would have meant proceeds of $536.9 million, and time of the company's disclosure of a plan to move up its 2-for-1 stock split to Oct. 4, when the financing would have garnered $863.4 million. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 2, 2000, p. 1.)

That split was accomplished as planned, Millennium said in its prospectus. The offering leaves the company with 209.66 million shares outstanding.

As of June 30, the company had $644.75 million in cash, according to the prospectus, which said the firm has "incurred losses in four of the last six years and in the six months ended June 30," and expects to "incur substantial operating losses in future periods. To date, substantially all of our revenues have resulted from payments from strategic alliance partners," with no revenues from products or services, the prospectus said.

Millennium has "completed development of only one product candidate, Campath," it notes further. The drug, developed through a joint venture with LeukoSite Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., and Ilex Oncology Inc., of San Antonio, to treat advanced B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia that is refractory to existing therapies, was the subject of a biologics license application (BLA) late last year. (See BioWorld Today, Dec. 27, 1999, p. 1.)

Millennium said it expects to "increase our spending significantly as we continue to expand our infrastructure."

The company completed its merger with LeukoSite the same month the BLA was submitted, and in July 2000 acquired the business of Cambridge Discovery Chemistry Limited, a subsidiary of Oxford, UK-based Oxford Molecular Group plc. "The combined company may experience slower rates of growth as compared to the historical rates of growth of Millennium and these businesses independently," the prospectus warned as part of its risk statement.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter jointly managed the offering, which was co-managed by Robertson Stephens Inc. and Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., and Millennium granted underwriters an option to buy up to 1.65 million more shares as overallotments.

Millennium's stock (NASDAQ:MLNM) closed Friday at $63.25, down $1.687.

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