CytoTherapeutic Inc. said Tuesday that it filed a registrationstatement for a proposed public offering of 2 million shares ofcommon stock.The, Providence, R.I., company currently has about 11 million sharesoutstanding, about $20.6 million in cash and is burning some $1.5million per month, Liz Razee, CytoTherapeutic' manager, corporatecommunications, told BioWorld. Its stock (NASDAQ:CTII) wasdown 75 cents per share Tuesday, closing at $5.13.The offering is being made through an underwriting group managedby UBS Securities Inc., of New York, and Roberston, Stephens &Co. L.P. of San Francisco.Proceeds from the offering, together with current cash, will last thecompany into the second quarter of 1996, according to SethRudnick, CytoTherapeutic' chairman and CEO. He said that thecompany's technology is not fully understood by the investmentcommunity. Offering shares at a time when other companies are notgives the company a better chance to tell its story, Rudnick said.CytoTherapeutic has one product, CereCRIB, in human clinical trialsin Switzerland, and in September filed an investigational new drugapplication for U.S. trials. The product, an implant, is for chronicpain in cancer patients. The implant contains encapsulated bovineadrenal chromaffin cells, and releases catecholamines andenkephalins after implantation into fluid space in the spinal column.The company will present abstracts at the Society for Neurosciencemeeting in Miami in mid-November. Included among the abstractsare studies of nerve growth factor in both young and aged primates;human nerve growth factor; and data from the first Switzerland trialon CereCRIB.CytoTherapeutic' technology is built around cell-containing,biocompatible implants that may be useful in delivering therapeuticswithin the blood-brain barrier to treat central nervous systemdisorders.A collaboration with South San Francisco-based Genentech Inc.,finalized in March, includes five growth factors. (See BioWorldToday, March 14, 1994, p.1.) The first involves nerve growth factorfor the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Two other factors includedin the agreement are Neurotrophin-3 and NT-4/5. The remainingfactors and target applications will be jointly determined later, Razeesaid.Genentech owns nearly 5 percent of CytoTherapeutic' stock.CytoTherapeutic is expecting to enter European trials in 1995 withNeuroCRIB for Parkinson's disease, Razee said. The company alsohas preclinical development programs focusing on amyotrophiclateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease and other central nervoussystem disorders.In a March issue of the Proceeding of the National Academy ofSciences, scientists from CytoTherapeutic reported the successfulimplantation of a capsule containing a cell line engineered to deliverstable quantities of human nerve growth factor into the brains of rats.The capsule was found to work effectively after six months. n
-- Jim Shrine
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