Athena Neurosciences Inc. and Sequus PharmaceuticalsInc., both with products in advanced stages of clinicaldevelopment in the U.S., are planning to sell 3 millionshares each in public offerings.

Sequus, of Menlo Park, Calif., said it will sell 3 millionshares from a $50 million shelf registration that becameeffective in June. Based on the $11.75 closing priceWednesday of Sequus' stock (NASDAQ:SEQU), the salewould leave a balance of $14.5 million in the shelfregistration. Sequus ended the day down 38 cents.

Athena's 3 million shares would generate about $35million based on the $11.63 closing price of the stock(NASDAQ:ATHN). Of the 3 million shares, 600,000 willbe sold to international investors. The company closedWednesday up 13 cents.

Athena, which is developing drugs and diagnostics forneurological disorders, has a new drug application (NDA)for Zanaflex (tizanidine hydrochloride) filed with theFDA. The agency sent a non-approvable letter in Marchfor the compound, but Athena officials said they haveaddressed the FDA's concerns and the drug is underreview.

Zanaflex, targeted for treatment of spasticity associatedwith spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, waslicensed from Switzerland-based Sandoz Pharma Ltd. andis marketed in about 50 other countries.

Athena also has completed a second pivotal study of anepilepsy treatment and expects to file an NDA before theend of 1995. The drug, Diastat (diazepam), is aimed atreducing the number of recurrent seizures in epilepticssuffering from a condition called acute repetitive seizure.

In July Athena received $9.4 million from Wyeth-AyerstLaboratories, a subsidiary of Madison, N.J.-basedAmerican Home Products Corp., to extend theircollaboration on discovering drugs that block white bloodcells from migrating to the brain for treatment of immunedisorders and inflammatory diseases.

Athena also is developing treatments for Alzheimer'sdisease in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Co., ofIndianapolis, and has an alliance with Elan Corp. plc, ofAthlone, Ireland, to apply Elan's drug deliverytechnology to neurobiological products.

As of June 30, 1995, Athena had $41.7 million in cashand a net loss for the first half of the year of $17.3million. Following the offering the company will have27.4 million shares outstanding. PaineWebber Inc., AlexBrown & Sons Inc. and Schroder Wertheim & Co. Inc.,all of New York, are managing the stock sale.

Sequus Awaits FDA's Response On Doxil

Sequus, which is developing liposome-based drugs, isselling its shares as it awaits a decision from the FDA onan NDA for Doxil, a liposomal form of doxorubicin, as asecond-line treatment for AIDS-related Kaposi'ssarcoma. Sequus received an approvable letter from theFDA earlier this month for the drug and expects marketclearance this year. Doxil also is in clinical developmentfor solid tumors.

Sequus' Amphocil, a lipid-based form of amphotericin B,was the company's first approved drug and is on themarket in Europe for treating systemic fungal infectionsin patients who failed to respond to other therapies.

As of June 30, 1995, Sequus had $21.5 million in cashand a monthly burn rate of $2.7 million. Following thestock sale, the company will have about 24.4 millionshares outstanding.

Robertson, Stephens & Co. L.P., of San Francisco, andDillon, Read & Co. Inc., Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. andPunk, Ziegel & Knoell L.P., all of New York, aremanaging the offering. n

-- Charles Craig

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