SangStat Medical Corp. registered to sell 2 million shares in a public offering aimed at generating more than $56 million to support its development and sales of drugs for organ transplant patients.
The Menlo Park, Calif., company proposed the offering Friday, the same day it reported the FDA accepted for review SangStat's version of cyclosporine, the generic name for an immunosuppressive drug used to prevent organ transplant rejection.
Cyclosporine was first sold by Sandoz Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, under the brand name Sandimmune in 1983. The company's patent on the drug expired in 1995, making generic competition possible. Sandoz, which merged last year with Ciba-Geigy Ltd., of Basel, to form Novartis, also has introduced a new version of cyclosporine under the name Neoral.
SangStat officials said Novartis' cyclosporine sales worldwide totaled $1.2 billion in 1995.
In addition to cyclosporine, SangStat's Thymoglobulin, a treatment for acute rejection of organ transplants, also is under review by the FDA. Thymoglobulin is an anti-T cell polyclonal antibody licensed from Pasteur Merieux Serums & Vaccins, of Lyon, France.
Based on the $28.375 closing price Thursday of SangStat's stock (NASDAQ:SANG), the 2 million-share offering would generate $56.75 million in gross proceeds.
Underwriters are Hambrecht & Quist LLC, Montgomery Securities and Robertson, Stephens and Co., all of San Francisco. They have options to purchase another 300,000 shares to cover overallotments.
As of Sept. 30, 1996, SangStat said it had $45 million in cash and reported a net loss of $9.2 million for the first nine months of last year.
SangStat's shares Friday gained $1.625 to close at $30. * Charles Craig