Medarex Inc., which is developing what it calls bispecificantibodies for cancer, leukemia and AIDS, registered tosell 3 million shares in a public offering expected to raiseat least $20 million.

Bispecific antibodies are designed to bind to both thedisease cells and immune system killer cells to make surethe latter launches an assault on the former. Medarex, ofAnnandale, N.J., said it has five drugs in 10 clinical trials.

Two drugs are under development in collaborations withSwitzerland-based Ciba-Geigy Ltd. and Germany-basedMerck KGaA.

In the alliance with Ciba, Medarex is developing abispecific drug, called MDX-210, targeting breast,ovarian and prostate cancers whose tumor cells expressthe HER-2 antigen. The partnership with Merck focuseson MDX-447, a drug aimed at epidermal growth factorreceptors, which are expressed in neck, breast, brain andlung cancer cells.

Both MDX-210 and MDX-447 are being tested in PhaseI/II trials.

As of June 30, 1995, Medarex had $9.6 million in cashand for the first six months of this year reported a net lossof $3.4 million. Following the stock sale, the companywill have 12.6 million shares outstanding.

Based on Medarex's $6.97 closing stock price(NASDAQ:MEDX) Wednesday, the company wouldraise nearly $21 million.

Underwriters for the offering are Smith Barney Inc., ofNew York, and Vector Securities International Inc., ofDeerfield, Ill. _ Charles Craig

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