The Liposome Co. reported Monday that Wisconsin'sstate pension fund managers have purchased 1.5 millionshares in the Princeton, N.J.-based biotechnologycompany for $15 million.

Brook Boveroux, Liposome's chief financial officer, saidthe stock purchase by the Wisconsin Investment Boardboosts his company's cash reserves to $94 million and itsoutstanding shares to about 29.3 million. Liposome, headded, has a burn rate of between $11 million and $12million per quarter.

The Wisconsin investment board paid $10 per share forLiposome's stock (NASDAQ:LIPO), which closedMonday at $10.75, up 13 cents.

Boveroux said the funds will be used to support theanticipated commercial launch of Liposome's leadproduct, an amphotericin B lipid complex, in the U.S.The company has submitted the drug for approval by theFDA for treatment of aspergillosis in patients who failedconventional therapy or who have liver impairments.

Liposome has filed for market clearance of amphotericinB lipid complex in 18 other countries. Approvals for thedrug have been received in the U.K. and Luxembourg.

Amphotericin B is marketed as a first-line therapy forfungal infections. Liposome's lipid-based product isdesigned to deliver amphotericin B to the point ofinfection to offset side effects from the antifungal drug.

The Wisconsin Investment Board's stock purchasefollows a public offering earlier this year in whichLiposome raised nearly $29 million through the sale of3.45 million shares.

Two other companies also develop lipid-based orliposomal forms of amphotericin B. NexStarPharmaceuticals Inc., of Boulder, Colo., and SequusPharmaceuticals Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., haveproducts in late-stage development in the U.S. and on themarket in other countries. _ Charles Craig

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