By Mary Welch

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. intends sell 1.75 million shares of stock, which at Wednesday's opening price would yield about $82.25 million, the proceeds of which will be used to continue development of its three products in clinical trials.

Angiotech's stock (NASDAQ:ANPI) gained $9.375 Wednesday to close at $55.

Angiotech, whose stock just started trading on Nasdaq this month, also will offer the underwriters an additional 262,500 shares to cover overallotments. Currently the company has 13.4 million shares outstanding.

The company, citing an SEC-imposed quiet period, refused to comment.

The offering is jointly being led by Duetsche Banc Alex. Brown Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co., both of New York. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, of Minneapolis, will be co-manager. In addition, Loewen, Ondaatje, McCutcheon Ltd. and Yorkton Securities Inc., both of Toronto, will act as members of the underwriting syndicate in Canada.

The company, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, had revenues of C$4.5 million (US$3.1 million) for 1999, which ended Sept. 30. Net loss for the year was C$9.9 million, or 82 cents per share. The company had C$31.3 million (US$21.4 million) in cash.

For the first quarter, which ended Dec. 31, Angiotech reported revenues of $2.6 million and a net loss of $26,777.

The company has two drugs in clinical development for three indications based on its reformulation of the cancer drug paclitaxel. Currently in Phase II trials is systemic micellar paclitaxel for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, a condition for which there is currently no approved treatment in the U.S. The nine-month trial started in November and will enroll 189 patients at seven centers in Canada. The primary endpoint is new lesion activity compared to the control group during the treatment phase as demonstrated by magnetic resonance imaging.

The second therapy is topical paclitaxel gel for psoriasis, which is in Phase I and Phase I/II trials, and micellar paclitaxel for rheumatoid arthritis, which is in Phase I.

Last year the company raised C$16.33 million to help fund the Phase II multiple sclerosis trial.

Angiotech uses paclitaxel - the generic name of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s cancer drug Taxol - for indications other than cancer, such as chronic inflammatory and angiogenesis-dependent diseases. The company said it does not need to compensate Bristol-Myers because the pharmaceutical firm lacks a composition-of-matter patent on Taxol. (See BioWorld Today, June 18, 1999 p. 1.)

Last month, Angiotech filed to start clinical trials of a paclitaxel-coated coronary stent for treatment of restenosis associated with stent implantation.

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