T Cell Sciences Inc., with a new structure and focus in place, is tryingto bring in some new money.
The Needham, Mass., company registered to sell five million sharesin a shelf offering, which gives it the flexibility to sell the shareswithin two years. Genesis Merchant Group Securities, of SanFrancisco, is managing the offering.
T Cell Sciences this year has sold and licensed most of its diagnosticsbusiness and suspended internal funding of its T-cell antigen receptorprogram. President and CEO Alan Tuck left the company and a newmanagement team was put in place.
T Cell Sciences plans to use proceeds from the offering primarily tofund development of its complement inhibitor and other developmentprograms. The lead product, TP10, a soluble form of complementreceptor 1, is in Phase II trials.
"With the sale of the diagnostic business the company is focused onthe therapeutic and research and development aspects of thebusiness," said Norman Gorin, vice president, finance, and chieffinancial officer. "Consistent with that we put our chief scientist incharge of the company. The board concluded she's the right person tolead us in this new direction."
Last month Chief Scientific Officer Una Ryan was named to theadditional positions of president and chief operating officer. JamesGrant, a company director, was named CEO.
"T cell has a great story that has not been told," Gorin said. "We'vebeen spending a great deal of time reorganizing the company, we'rein efficacy trials for the lead complement inhibitor, and have apreclinical pipeline that's very exciting. We look forward to theopportunity to tell what the new T Cell is all about."
The company on June 20, 1996, had about $6.7 million in cash andsecurities. Its stock (NASDAQ:TCEL) closed Tuesday at $2.63. Atthat price the offering would gross $13.1 million.
Gorin said T Cell Sciences has enough cash to get into 1997, andwould be expected to wait until market conditions are favorablebefore selling the new securities.
TP10 is being studied in trials assessing its ability to reduceneutrophil accumulation in the lung and improved clinical outcomesof patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome, and to preventreperfusion injury in patients getting lung transplants. T Cell also isdeveloping a second generation of complement inhibitors.
Another area of research is on the development of small-moleculecompounds for the inhibition of T Cell activation, which plays a rolein solid organ transplant rejection and in certain autoimmunediseases. A vaccine under development could be useful in reducingrisk factors for atherosclerosis, and the company still has rights to theTRAx diagnostic technology. n
-- Jim Shrine
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.