By Mary Welch

Three companies intend to raise at least $120 million each by offering convertible subordinated notes. Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. proposed raising $120 million, CV Therapeutics Inc. $125 million and Invitrogen Corp. $150 million.

In addition, COR Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, said it closed on its previously reported private placement. The company raised $300 million, after the underwriters exercised their option to purchase another $50 million of notes to cover overallotments.

COR initially planned to raise $150 million. The company expects to close on the additional notes on Tuesday and did not disclose the price of the notes, which are due in 2007. The company will use the proceeds for costs associated with the marketing and selling of Integrilin. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 16, 2000, p. 4.)

Integrilin is an anti-clotting agent approved in 1998 for acute coronary syndrome and it also is indicated for the treatment of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions. The company expects to file for approval with the FDA in the third quarter, so Integrilin can become the standard of care for patients undergoing intracoronary stenting. (See BioWorld Today, May 20, 1998, p. 1; and Feb. 7, 2000, p. 3.)

Alexion, of New Haven, Conn., which intends to raise $120 million by selling convertible subordinated notes due 2007, has also given underwriters an option for another $30 million worth of notes to cover overallotments. The notes would be convertible into Alexion's common stock at the option of the holder, at a price to be determined. The offering is expected to close in March.

The net proceeds would be used to fund research and clinical development activities, as well as the manufacturing and commercialization of its products.

The company's two lead products are currently in seven clinical development programs. 5G1.1-SC, in collaboration with Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, is in a Phase IIb cardiopulmonary bypass trial and in two Phase II trials for myocardial infarction. 5G1.1-SC is a bacterially produced, humanized single-chain antibody.

5G1.1, a longer-acting, double-chain, humanized antibody, is in a Phase II trial for the chronic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and for the chronic treatment of membranous nephritis. It will start Phase Ib pilot studies for treatment of psoriasis and dermatomyositis soon.

CV Therapeutics, of Palo Alto, Calif., intends to issue $125 million worth of convertible subordinated notes and will use the proceeds to fund its clinical trials. If an overallotment option is fully exercised, the company would gross $143.8 million.

The company intends to sell the notes in a private offering to institutional buyers. The notes will be convertible into shares of common stock and will have a seven-year term.

The company expects to file a new drug application next year for ranolazine, a drug in a new class of therapies for angina called pFOX (partial fatty acid oxidation) inhibitors. Initial results from a Phase III study, called MARISA (monotherapy assessment of ranolazine in stable angina), in patients with severe stable angina were encouraging. Also under way is a Phase III trial called CARISA (combination assessment of ranolazine in stable angina) that is studying the drug in combination with either a beta-blocker or a calcium channel blocker. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 20, 1999, p. 1.).

Invitrogen, of San Diego, said the conversion price of its $150 million 5.5 percent convertible subordinated notes is $85.20. The notes, due in March 2007, are convertible into shares at any time.

In addition, Invitrogen granted the initial purchasers an option to purchase another $22.5 million worth of notes to cover overallotments.

Invitrogen develops, manufactures and markets research tools in kit form for gene cloning and gene expression. According to the company, the research kits simplify and improve gene cloning, gene expression and gene analysis technologies for use in genomics and gene-based drug discovery.

Alexion's stock (NASDAQ:ALXN) closed Friday at $80.875, up $1.62. COR (NASDAQ:CORR) closed Friday at $73.75, up $11. CV Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CVTX) closed Friday at $54.125, up $1.87. Invitrogen's stock (NASDAQ:IVGN) closed Friday at $79.625, up $7.625.