Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Friday it registered to sell 6 millionshares in a public offering.

If completed the offering would increase by nearly 30 percent theshares outstanding and triple the cash position of The Woodlands,Texas, company. New York-based firms Donaldson, Lufkin &Jenrette Securities Corp. and Furman Selz LLC are managing theoffering.

Aronex also said Friday it plans to seek stockholder approval of a 1-for-2 reverse stock split, which would halve the shares outstandingand double the stock price, which currently is trading in the $5 range.The company in its prospectus reported 21.7 million sharesoutstanding and about $12 million in cash and equivalents.

This year the company took its lead drug candidate, Nyotran, intoPhase III trials. The product is a liposomal formulation of theantifungal agent nystatin. A liposomal formulation of all-transretinoic acid is in Phase II/III studies for Kaposi's sarcoma and inPhase II studies for refractory acute promyelocytic leukemia. Earlystudies of a liposomal form of anthracycline were begun formultidrug-resistant breast cancer. Aronex's oligonucleotide, AR177,is in Phase I HIV studies. _ Jim Shrine

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