By Lisa Seachrist

Washington Editor

Photodynamic therapy specialist DUSA Pharmaceuticals Inc. raised $42.75 million in a private placement with a single investor.

The company sold 1.5 million shares of common stock to funds managed by Invesco Funds Group at $28.50 a share. The price is a 5 percent discount to the closing price on Feb. 16, the date the two parties agreed to the transaction. DUSA intends to use the funds to expand its research and development of its Levulan PDT/PD technology platform.

"We are looking into using the technology to prevent restenosis following angioplasty," said Shari Lovell, director of shareholder services for DUSA. She also noted the company was developing the technology for the treatment of acne and for use in permanent hair removal.

The shares have yet to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but the company says it will do so soon.

DUSA received FDA approval for its first photodynamic therapy, Levulan Kerastick for the treatment of the precancerous skin condition actinic keratoses, in December. It is a two-stage treatment involving the application of a 20 percent solution of Levulan using the Kerastick applicator. Levulan is preferentially taken up by fast-growing cells and converted into protoporphyrin IX, a potent photosensitizer. The next day, patients return to their physicians' offices to have the photosensitizer activated by the BLU-U brand Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy Illuminator.

DUSA may also use the funds for the acquisition or licensing of complementary drugs, devices, technologies or businesses.

The company has signed a marketing deal with Berlin-based Schering AG, which is planning a launch of the product in the second quarter. Once the first sale is complete, Schering will pay DUSA the remainder of a $30 million payment. Schering paid DUSA an undisclosed portion of that $30 million when the two companies signed the deal.

DUSA is incorporated in New Jersey with offices in Wilmington, Mass.; Valhalla, N.Y.; and Toronto.

DUSA's stock (NASDAQ:DUSA) closed Thursday at $32.75, up $3.

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