Bio-Technology General Inc. (BTG) received gross proceeds of $17 million when investors in a 1993 financing exercised 3.1 million warrants to purchase BTG shares at $5.49 each.

Islelin, N.J.-based BTG's stock (NASDAQ:BTGC) closed Wednesday at $7.062, up $0.187.

"The $17 million, added to the cash we currently had, brings us to about $75 million at the end of 1998, which is going to be at least partially applied to acquiring new products and/or technologies that will help us expand our product pipeline," said Leah Berkovits, BTG's director of corporate communications.

"We are looking for certain products in a fairly advanced stage of development," Berkovits told BioWorld Today. "These funds will help in that regard. We're looking for products that make sense in terms of our current product portfolio, with particular emphasis on endocrine and metabolic disorders."

The warrants were issued as part of Dec. 31, 1993, private placement with Bio-Cardia Corp., a vehicle set up to finance certain BTG cardiovascular products. Investors received Bio-Cardia shares and warrants to purchase BTG stock. Bio-Cardia folded less than a year later, and all rights reverted back to BTG.

There were 3.5 million warrants outstanding, which expired Dec. 31, 1998. The company said the shares used in computing the diluted 1998 quarterly earnings included the effect of the potential exercise of those warrants, so earnings per share in 1998 will not be affected. - Jim Shrine