By Jim Shrine

Immunomedics Inc. completed a $12.5 million private placement of 4 percent convertible preferred stock, with an option for another $7.5 million of the convertible stock.

"This takes us out a significant period of time," Robert DeLuccia, Immunomedics' president and CEO, told BioWorld Today. "We don't see any major issues in terms of our financial position going forward."

The financing replaces a less favorable equity line held by the Morris Plains, N.J., company, which provided more limited financing over 36 months. The preferred stock cannot be converted into common stock for six months after closing.

The conversion price will be the lesser of 125 percent of the market price in six months, or 100 percent of an average of the lowest closing bid during a period before conversion.

This six-month window gives Immunomedics time to implement its strategic plan, said Kevin Brophy, Immunomedics' vice president of finance and administration, and chief financial officer. The company expects to increase sales of its two approved diagnostics and form partnerships on other products, he said.

At September's End, Cash Was $4.4M

For the quarter that ended Sept. 30, the company reported cash and equivalents of $4.4 million and a net loss of $2.9 million for the quarter. Revenues were $1.8 million, nearly all of which came from sales of CEA-Scan and LeukoScan.

CEA-Scan, an in vivo imaging agent, consists of a monoclonal antibody fragment against the cancer marker carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), labeled with the diagnostic isotope technetium-99.

It is marketed in the U.S. and Europe, and approved in Canada, for imaging colorectal cancer recurrence and metastasis. The agent is being studied in other cancer types as well.

LeukoScan, another in vivo imaging agent, is approved in Europe for the detection and diagnosis of bone infection. A biologics license application was filed with the FDA in December 1996 for the same indication, as well as for the diagnosis of acute, atypical appendicitis.

"We've submitted everything we needed to [on LeukoScan]," DeLuccia said. "We believe we're near the end of the review period."

Immunomedics also is developing radiolabeled humanized antibodies for cancer indications. Two of them, LymphoCide and CEA-Cide, are in Phase I/II trials.

The company has reported LymphoCide, which targets CD22 receptors in B-cell lymphomas, appears to have anticancer activity against all grades of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Results suggested the non-radioactive antibody form might also be effective.

CEA-Cide targets CEA-expressing tumors, such as colorectal, pancreatic, breast, lung and ovarian cancers.

Immunomedics' stock (NASDAQ:IMMU) closed Thursday at $2.843, unchanged. *

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