By Brady Huggett

Corvas International Inc. filed a registration statement with the SEC seeking $115 million through the sale of 5 million shares of common stock.

"We are planning on using the proceeds for possibly acquiring complementary technologies and also for furthering our clinical programs," said Gwenetta Como, director, investor relations.

CIBC World Markets Corp., of New York, is acting as lead manager for the offering, with Prudential Vector Healthcare Group, of New York, and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, of Minneapolis, co-managers. The underwriters have an option to purchase another 750,000 shares to cover overallotments.

Corvas is a clinical-stage company focused on cardiovascular, stroke, cancer and other major diseases. It designs and develops new drugs for the treatment and prevention of thrombotic- and inflammatory-related diseases, including acute myocardial infarction, deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, unstable angina and ischemic stroke.

The company has nine products in its pipeline, including rNAPc2, its injectable anticoagulant for prevention of deep-vein thrombosis and related complications. It recently received positive Phase II results on its 292-patient, open-label, dose-ranging study, where safety was evaluated using incidence of major and minor bleeding. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 9, 2000, p. 1.)

"We've had some positive results from our NAPc2 tests," Como said. "We hope to be in Phase III trials by the second half of next year, but we are looking for a corporate partner for it."

In May, Corvas amended an agreement with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., for the development of synthetic antiviral compounds for the treatment of hepatitis C virus. Under the new agreement, Corvas exclusively licensed its technology and intellectual property related to hepatitis C treatments to Schering-Plough for $2.5 million. Also, Corvas will receive royalties on sales of commercialized products that emerge as a result of the collaboration. In August 1998, the companies ended a collaboration after disappointing results from an oral thrombin inhibitor Phase I trial. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 18, 1998, p. 1.)

Corvas, in February, raised $8.7 million from the exercise of warrants held by International Biotechnology Trust plc, of London, and two Weiss Peck & Greer, of San Francisco, funds. As of June 30, it had $32 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. The company will have about 26.6 million shares outstanding after the offering, Como said.

Corvas' stock (NASDAQ:CVAS) closed at $23.12 on Monday, down about 12 cents.

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