Xenova Group plc, a British biotechnology company, raised $10million Friday with an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. of 1.25million American depository share (ADS) units at $8 per unit.Net proceeds, less expenses associated with the offering, totaled $9.1million.Each ADS unit consists of one ordinary share of Xenova and an ADSconversion right. The conversion right, if activated, will equal amaximum .215 ADS on July 14, 1995. The conversion rights arebonuses based on quarterly target prices. If the targets are met no bonusaccrues. Xenova's shares began trading Friday on NASDAQ: XNVAZ.The stock closed at $8 per share.As of Dec. 31, 1993, Xenova reported it had $36.3 million on hand,including the anticipated $10 million in revenue from the IPO. Themoney is expected to keep the company operating another 18 months.Following Friday's offering Xenova has 9.95 million sharesoutstanding.Underwriters in the U.S. were PaineWebber Inc. and Lehman Brothers,both of New York, and Cowen & Co., of Boston. James Capel & Co.,a London-based securities and investment firm, co-managed asimultaneous offering outside the U.S.When Xenova, in February, filed its statement with the Securities andExchange Commission for the IPO, it intended to offer 2 millionshares.Xenova is one of the handful of British companies that have filed IPOsin the U.S. In 1992, Cantab Pharmaceuticals and British Bio-Technology Group were the first to seek U.S. investors.Xenova focuses on development of small molecule drugs frommicroorganisms, such as fungi and bacteria, and from plants and plantextracts. The company has several lead compounds in preclinicaldevelopment: an inhibitor of multiple drug resistance, ras sarnesyltransferase (ras-ft) and receptor tyrosine kinase; a GABA-BzR agonistfor anxiety or epilepsy; inhibitors of plasminogen activator inhibitor forthrombosis; and inhibitors of collagenase for rheumatoid arthritis. n

-- Charles Craig

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