Alfacell Corp., in its first offering since going public 11 years ago,raised $2 million in a private placement.The Bloomfield, N.J., company sold 40 units, each consisting of20,000 shares of common stock at $2.50 per share, and three-yearwarrants to purchase 20,000 shares at $5 per share. Gross proceeds alsoincluded the conversion to equity of about $200,000 of currentliabilities.The offering gives the company 8.8 million shares outstanding and $2million cash, with a burn rate of about $1.5 million per year, said GailFraser, Alfacell's chief financial officer.The company's lead product, Onconase, is in Phase II clinical trials forthe treatment of a variety of solid tumors. Onconase degrades RNA inthe tumor, which in turn inhibits protein synthesis, which inhibits cellproliferation, ultimately causing death of the cancer cells, Fraser said.The focus of Phase III testing will be pancreatic, non-small cell lungand metastatic breast cancers.Alfacell raised $1.6 million when it went public in 1983, and ran out ofmoney in 1986. Since then, Fraser said, the company has been financedby Kuslima Shogen, the president and chief executive officer. - JimShrine
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