Viragen Inc. said Monday it raised $15 million as part of a $50million financing commitment from three institutional investors.

The Miami company, which is developing a natural interferonproduct called Alpha Leukoferon, said the financing was donethrough 5 percent Series B convertible preferred stock. Viragenexpects to close a second round of $20 million by the end of the yearand the final round of $15 million before April 30, 1997.

Dennis Healey, chief financial officer at Viragen, said the preferredstock can be converted to common stock at a slight discount to thetrading price before the conversion. He said there are no restrictionson when the preferred stock can be converted.

Healey said the $15 million financing would dilute the stock about 6percent based on Friday's closing price. Viragen (NASDAQ:VRGN)has about 37 million shares outstanding. Its stock gained 38 centsMonday to close at $9.06.

Viragen now has more than $20 million in cash, with a burn rate of$200,000 to $250,000 a month, Healey said.

Viragen in March started a study of Alpha Leukoferon for HIV/AIDSin hemophiliacs under Florida's Investigational Drug Program. Sixtypatients will receive the product in combination with existingtherapies, while 30 patients taking only existing therapies will act ascontrols. _ Jim Shrine

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