Interneuron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that it completed aseries of financings that grossed about $8.1 million for theLexington, Mass., company and its three majority-ownedsubsidiaries.

The financing for Interneuron totaled $4.1 million. It came from thesale of 475,000 shares to a group of mutual funds, raising $1.8million; and the exercise of unit purchase options, which were issuedwhen the company went public in 1990, that resulted in 906,600shares being sold for $2.3 million. Chairman Lindsay Rosenwald andunderwriter D.H. Blair & Co., of New York, exercised the unitoptions.

Subsidiaries Progenitor Inc., of Columbus, Ohio, and TrancellTechnologies Inc., of Princeton, N.J., each raised $1.25 million. AndIntercardia Inc., which is in the process of moving its headquartersfrom Denver to North Carolina, raised $1.5 million.

Interneuron (NASDAQ:IPIC) now has about 30.4 million sharesoutstanding. It reported cash and marketable securities of $15.6million on Sept. 30, the end of its fiscal year, and a net loss of $27.4million.

"The private placements are still open," William Boni, thecompany's executive director, corporate communications, toldBioWorld. "This is the first closing. In addition to the privateplacements we intend to pursue corporate partnerships veryaggressively."

Interneuron has one product under FDA review and another in PhaseII/III testing. Intercardia's bucindolol is expected to be taken into aPhase III trial this year, in conjunction with the Veterans Affairs andthe National Institutes of Health. The study is part of the Beta-blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial (BEST) for heart failure.Interneuron and its affiliated companies have other productcandidates at earlier stages in the pipeline.

"We have a number of scenarios for the development of ourproducts, depending on how much cash we have on hand," Bonisaid. "We plan to proceed on schedule with our first wave ofproducts. We are continuing to bring the earlier-stage productsalong, but the rapidity with which we do that will depend on howmuch cash we have."

Interneuron's stock closed at $4.38 per share Wednesday, down 31cents. The shares were placed with the mutual funds for $3.79apiece, and the unit purchase options converted into shares at about$2.54 each.

The company's lead product, dexfenfluramine, is under review bythe FDA as a treatment for obesity. American Cyanamid Co.'sLederle Laboratories, of Wayne, N.J., which has rights to the drug,would pay Interneuron $9 million upon product approval, Boni said.

Interneuron is in Phase II/III trials with citicoline for stroke. Bonisaid a interim analysis will be conducted around mid-year. And thecompany has completed two Phase I trials of pagoclone for anxiety.

Trancell has two core technologies. One is in drug transports usingpermeation enhancers, which serve as carriers for compounds tocross a variety of cell membranes. The other is a drug discoverymethod that synthesizes complex carbohydrates.

Progenitor's two core technologies are in the areas of gene therapyvectors and stem cell therapeutics. n

-- Jim Shrine

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