La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co., selling 400,000 more shares of stockthan expected in an offering to institutional investors, raised $11million to support clinical development of its lead compound fortreatment of lupus.
The San Diego-based company sold 3.4 million shares at $3.25 pershare in the offering, which was completed Wednesday. La Jollaoriginally planned to sell 3 million shares. The company's stock(NASDAQ:LJPC) closed Wednesday at $3.90, unchanged.
The new funding gives the company 20 to 24 months of cash, saidAndrew Wiseman, director of business development, and 12 millionshares outstanding.
La Jolla's burn rate is about $1 million a month, he said. As of March31, the company reported that it had $11.34 million in cash.
"We have enough [money] to take us well into the fourth quarter of1997," Wiseman said.
La Jolla's lead product, LJP 394, is in Phase II trials for lupus. Thedrug is derived from the company's Tolerance technology, whichmakes molecules that bind to the surface of B cells to shut off theirproduction of disease-causing antibodies. LJP 394 targets antibodiesto double-stranded DNA, which are believed to cause kidney disease,the main killer of lupus patients. _ Charles Craig
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