Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. registered to sell 1.8 million shares ofcommon stock in a public offering to select institutional investors.

The offering would raise about $13.5 million if the shares(NASDAQ:GLFD) are sold at Monday's closing price of $7.50,down 25 cents on the day. Guilford's stock was trading under $6 inJune.

Guilford, of Baltimore, Md., on March 31 reported $4.8 million incash and about 3.8 million shares outstanding. The companyanticipates proceeds of the offering will take it well into 1996.

Guilford's lead product candidate is Gliadel, which has completedPhase III trials for the treatment of brain cancer. Company officialshave said they plan to submit a treatment investigational new drug(IND) application this quarter and a new drug application in thefourth quarter of this year. Construction of a manufacturing facilityfor the product is complete, although FDA approvals still are neededbefore a treatment IND is allowed.

Data from a 222-patient trial that was published in the June 22 issueof The Lancet showed survival rates increased from 47 percent withplacebo to 60 percent for those treated with Gliadel. In patients withglioblastoma multiforme, six-month survival increased from 36percent to 56 percent for treated patients.

Gliadel is a small wafer made of a biodegradable polymer thatcontains the approved drug carmustine, or BCNU. Up to eight of thewafers are implanted directly into the cavity created when braincancer is removed. That method is intended to allow for higherconcentrations and extended delivery to the tumor site. More potentchemotherapeutic agents are being incorporated into the polymer

Guilford's second product is Dopascan, formerly called RTI-55,which is in Phase II trials for the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.Preclinical development of GPI 3000 (NPC-17742), a competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist, is continuing.

One of the company's recent discoveries is a class of immunophilinligands, which are small molecule neurotrophic factors that Guilfordsaid has shown promise in vitro and in vivo. Patent applications havebeen filed.

In March Guilford was provided $2.5 million from a philanthropicorganization to develop a treatment for cocaine addiction. Theintention is to develop a cocaine antagonist that would block thedrug's effects. Research from the National Institute on Drug Abusesuggested the binding site for cocaine is on the dopamine transporter.n

-- Jim Shrine

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

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