NeXstar Pharmaceuticals Inc. completed a private offering for $25million to institutional investors and said the funds will be used forthe anticipated U.S. market launch of DaunoXome, a liposomal formof daunorubicin, for AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma.

NeXstar, of Boulder, Colo., received an "approvable" letter forDaunoXome in July 1995 from the FDA and expects marketclearance within the next two months. The drug is approved in twoEuropean countries.

Joseph Alper, NeXstar's director of corporate communications, saidfunds from the private offering also will be used to support severalregulatory filings in the U.S. this year, including a new drugapplication for AmBisome, a liposomal formulation of amphotericinB, for fungal infections. AmBisome is marketed in 22 countriesoutside the U.S. and 1995 sales were estimated at $57 million.

Two investigational new drug (IND) applications also will besubmitted to begin clinical trials of MiKasome and VincaXome.MiKasome is a liposomal form of amikacin, an antibiotic used fortuberculosis and gram-negative bacteria. VincaXome is the anti-cancer drug vincristine delivered in a liposome.

Liposomes are delivery vehicles designed to administer drugs directlyto the disease site, decreasing adverse reactions associated withsystemic use of the therapeutic agents.

In the private offering, NeXstar sold 1.43 million shares for $18.50per share, grossing $26.4 million. Net proceeds were about $25million. Vector Securities International Inc., of Deerfield, Ill., actedas placement agent.

Since the financing was proposed in January 1996, NeXstar's stock(NASDAQ:NXTR) has jumped 41 percent. (See BioWorld Today,Jan. 29, 1996, p.1.)

The company ended the day Wednesday at $26, up $1.

In October 1995, NeXstar withdrew a public offering of 3 millionshares saying the stock, at $11.50 per share, was undervalued. (SeeBioWorld Today, Oct. 13, 1995, p. 1.) n

-- Charles Craig

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