BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that it raised $2 millionthrough the private placement of 515,000 newly issued shares ofcommon stock to a private investor.The Birmingham, Ala., company now has about 7.9 million sharesoutstanding, and had cash and securities of $12.6 million on June 30.BioCryst is burning about $700,000 per month, said Ronald Gray, thecompany's chief financial officer.The stock was sold, at about $3.88 per share, to an individualpreviously unrelated to the company at an discount of 8.5 percent tothe Sept. 9 closing price of $4.25, Gray told BioWorld. BioCryst(NASDAQ:BCRX) stock was up 25 cents Tuesday, closing at $5.75."It gives us a little more breathing room before we have to doadditional financing," Gray said. "An opportunity presented itselfand we took advantage of it."BioCryst, which designs and develops small-molecule drugs usingstructure-based design, initiated a Phase II trial of its lead compound,BCX-34, for cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) earlier this month.The study is for topical delivery of BCX-34, which is designed toinhibit proliferation of T cells by targeting the enzyme, purinenucleoside phosphorylase. BioCryst also is studying topical BCX-34for psoriasis, an area in which the company hopes to have a Phase IItrial started next month. Also, two Phase I/II trials for oral deliveryand injection of the drug in treatment of CTCL and psoriasis areplanned by the end of the year. _ Jim Shrine
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