By Don Long
Buoyed by recently issued clinical trial data supporting use of its anticoagulant, Integrilin, a small synthetic peptide for treating unstable angina and non-Q-wave myocardial infarction, COR Therapeutics proposed a public offering of 2.5 million shares.
Based on last week's closing price of $15.437 per share, the company expects to raise $38.5 million. An additional $5.78 million would be generated if underwriters Robertson, Stephens & Co. L.L.C. and Hambrecht & Quist L.L.C., both of New York, exercise their overallotment option for 375,000 additional shares.
COR's stock (NASDAQ:CORR) closed Monday at $14.937, down $0.50.
The bulk of the public offering proceeds will go to pursuing further development of Integrilin, the company said in a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including $5 million for "continued clinical development" of Integrilin and approximately $15 million for its commercialization.
Schering-Plough Corp., of Madison, N.J., holds worldwide marketing rights to Integrilin, which is derived from the venom of Southeastern pygmy rattlesnakes and works by inhibiting platelet aggregation. The agreement gives COR the right to copromote Integrilin in the U.S. and Canada.
The results of COR's PURSUIT trial of Integrilin (epitifibatide) in treating nearly 11,000 patients were unveiled last month at the 19th Congress of the European Society of Cardiology, in Stockholm. According to COR, it was the largest study ever conducted of unstable angina and non-Q-wave myocardial infarction. (See BioWorld Today, August 26, 1997.)
In the trial, Integrilin produced a statistically significant reduction in incidence of death or heart attack, from 15.7 percent to 14.2 percent within 30 days. The treatment also reduced combined incidence of death and major heart attack from 8.5 percent to 7.3 percent and incidence of non-Q-wave myocardial infarction from 1.7 percent to 1.1 percent in 30 days.
Earlier this year COR sought approval of Integrilin for prevention of acute ischemic complications in angioplasty patients, but the FDA's Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee suggested data from a Phase III trial, called IMPACT II, were not sufficiently compelling to forego the customary requirement of two positive Phase III studies.
On the basis of the PURSUIT data, COR said it "intends to amend its new drug application in the last quarter of 1997 to seek FDA approval of Integrilin for the treatment of unstable angina and NQMI." And it may submit the PURSUIT trial data to seek FDA approval of Integrilin for use in angioplasty.
If Integrilin is approved for marketing, its main competitor would be ReoPro (abciximab), introduced to U.S. and European markets in 1995 and developed by Centocor Inc., of Malvern, Pa., and its partner, Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis. Wall Street analysts have said COR could face an uphill battle in convincing physicians to switch to Integrilin.
For the first six months of 1997, COR reported cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of just over $38.5 million. It had a net loss for the six month period of just over $16.6 million. *