By Mary Welch

AtheroGenics Inc., with two Phase II trials under way, registered for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise $100 million. It marked the 22nd IPO filing of the year for a North American biotechnology company.

The company did not indicate how many shares would be offered or at what price.

AtheroGenics, which develops small-molecule therapeutics for chronic inflammatory diseases, has a compound, AGI-1067, in two separate Phase II trials.

The first Phase II trial is for the prevention and treatment of restenosis, the reoccurrence of narrowing of the coronary arteries following angioplasty in patients with coronary artery disease. The other Phase II trial, known as the Canadian Antioxidant Restenosis Trial (CART-1), is for the treatment of post-angioplasty restenosis.

Last fall, AtheroGenics signed a license and development deal around AGI-1067 with Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., that is potentially worth $189 million. (See BioWorld Today, Oct, 29, 1999, p. 1.)

AGI-1067 is the first in a class of oral compounds called composite vascular protectants (v-protectants), which in preclinical models blocked the onset and progression of atherosclerosis ¿ or the buildup of plaque on arterial walls ¿ and have lowered serum cholesterol levels.

In addition, the company is developing new v-protectants for the treatment of asthma, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and solid organ transplant rejection. V-protectants are therapeutic small molecules that block a class of signals called oxidant signals that lead to the production of selected inflammatory proteins.

The Alpharetta, Ga., company posted 1999 revenues of $5.8 million, with a net loss of $6 million. As of Feb. 18, it reported 13.6 million shares outstanding. As of Dec. 31, it had $13.4 million in cash. With this financing, it should have enough capital to last through 2002, the company said in its prospectus.

Among the company¿s institutional owners are Alliance Technology Ventures LP, of Alpharetta, with 2.7 million shares; William Blair Capital Partners VI LP, of Chicago, with 2.6 million shares; Sprout Capital VII LP, of Menlo Park, Calif., with 1.7 million shares; and Domain Associates LLC, of Princeton, N.J., with 1.6 million shares.

Underwriters are SG Cowen Securities Corp. and Chase H&Q, both of New York, and Adams Harkness & Hill Inc., of Boston, and AG Edwards & Sons Inc., of St. Louis.

AtheroGenics¿s proposed Nasdaq ticker symbol is AGIX.