CV Therapeutics, coming off its first major corporate collaboration,said Thursday it completed a $13 million self-managed privateplacement.
The company, which raised $8.7 million in November 1995, now hasraised about $52 million since its founding in 1992. CV Therapeuticslast week signed its first deal with a major pharmaceutical companywhen it aligned with Bayer AG, of Leverkusen, Germany, in acollaboration in the area of inflammatory diseases.
This financing represents a turning of the corner for privately heldCV Therapeutics, which last year saw its lead candidate, acholesterol-lowering agent, fail in Phase II studies, said MichaelSterns, director of business development. Now with two candidates inthe clinic and a strong cash position the company is back operatingfrom a position of strength, he said.
Kathleen Stafford, chief financial officer at CV Therapeutics, said thecompany was warmly received in what turned out to be anoversubscribed offering. She said CV Therapeutics initially intendedto raise $5 million to $10 million.
"It seems to be a very receptive environment for the right kind ofstories," Stafford said. "I attribute the interest to the strong positionthe company has with two products in the clinic" and the idea thecompany is a "smart research house and smart in-licenser. Investorslike the strategy and results."
One product, CVT-124, is an adenosine A1-receptor antagonist beingdeveloped to treat congestive heart failure and other disorders. In arecently completed Phase I study the company reported the smallmolecule was safe and well tolerated and produced dose-relatedincreases in sodium and uric acid excretion with only minimalpotassium losses.
CV Therapeutics' CVT-303 (ranolazine), which was acquired fromPalo Alto, Calif.-based Syntex USA, has been studied in more than1,200 patients for use in ischemic heart disease.
Stafford said CV Therapeutics is seeking partners to continuedevelopment of both candidates.
Participating in this round of financing were new investors ZesigerCapital Group, of New York; BankAmerica Ventures, of Foster City,Calif.; and Advent International, of Boston. Existing investorsparticipating included Institutional Venture Partners and DelphiVentures, both of Menlo Park; Asset Management, of Palo Alto; andHambrecht & Quist Capital Management, of Boston.
The money will take CV Therapeutics to mid-1997 given its currentresearch and development plans, Stafford said. She said futurefunding is expected to come from partnerships in both developmentand research programs as well as further equity capital.
Sterns said the company may look at adding value to CVT-124 andCVT-303 before partnering them by doing small Phase II studies inadditional indications.
Syntex, a subsidiary of Roche Holding Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland,had done some work testing CVT-303 against intermittentclaudication, a complex of symptoms characterized by pains in limbs.CVT-124 has diuretic properties, Sterns said, and could haveapplicability for various kidney indications. n
-- Jim Shrine
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