Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc. grossed $18.75 million in an initialpublic offering (IPO) of 2.5 million shares at $7.50 per share.

The San Diego company also sold 2.5 million redeemable commonstock warrants at 10 cents apiece, raising another $250,000. NationalSecurities Corp., of New York, managed the offering and has anoption to purchase another 375,000 shares and 375,000 warrants.

The company's lead technology, Maxamine (formerly EpiLeukin),combines an H2 receptor agonist, or histamine, with the cytokinesinterleukin-2 (IL-2) and/or alpha interferon. Maxim said it believeshistamine helps the proteins achieve their full anti-tumor and anti-infective potentials.

The product is in Phase II studies for acute myelogenous leukemia(AML) and malignant melanoma. Published data from both studiessuggested increased benefit when histamine was added to thecytokines. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 23, 1996, p. 1.)

Patients who received Maxamine in the Phase II trial as part of theirIL-2 therapy exhibited extended relapse survival compared to bothcontrol patients and results seen in the literature, Maxim said in itsprospectus. The company said it continues to enroll patients andexpects to increase trial sites this year to prepare for an internationalPhase III study.

Maxim also said patient enrollment in Phase II trials for other cancerindications including multiple myeloma, prostate adenocarcinomaand renal cell carcinoma have been initiated or are planned in 1997or 1998.

Maxim also is developing MaxVax, a mucosal vaccinecarrier/adjuvant system. It is based on the B subunit of cholera toxin,and is currently under development for a vaccine against chlamydia.

Maxim now has about 5.8 million shares outstanding and has another860,000 warrants that can be converted to common stock at $3.78and $3 per share. The warrants from the IPO can be exercised afterone year at 140 percent of the IPO price. The company can call thewarrants after 18 months if the stock trades at 160 percent or more ofthe IPO price for 20 of 30 days.

The stock and warrants are trading on the American Stock Exchangeunder the symbols MMP and MMP.WS, respectively. The stock,which opened up last week with the offering, lost 13 cents Friday toclose at $8.88.

The company has about $16 million in cash. Its net loss for the firstsix months of the year was $1.5 million. n

-- Jim Shrine

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.