Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced Monday that it has filed aregistration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commissionfor an initial public offering of 2.8 million shares of common stock.The offering is being underwritten by D. Blech and Co. of New York.The offering is expected to be priced at $8 per share, which could bringthe Baltimore company gross proceeds of $22 million.Guilford is engaged in the discovery, development andcommercialization of novel products for the diagnosis, treatment andprevention of diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Thecompany was spun off by Scios Nova Inc. (NASDAQ:SCIO) ofMountain View, Calif., last October.When Scios Inc. and Nova Pharmaceuticals Corp. merged in 1992, adecision was made to form a separate company, Guilford, to pursueresearch and development in the CNS area, according to Kira Bacon, aspokeswoman for Scios Nova. Scios Nova provided $2.5 million instart-up funds for Guilford and retains a 60 percent interest in thecompany, she said.Guilford currently has 1.7 million shares outstanding; the new offeringcould bring that total to 4.5 million.Guilford has completed Phase III clinical trials of its Gliadel implant, asurgically implantable, biodegradable, polymer wafer containing thecancer chemotherapy agent carmustine (BCNU). The company is nowseeking FDA approval to market the implant, which is being developedas a treatment for primary brain cancer.RTI-55, an agent for the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease,is now in Phase II clinical trials under a sponsor-investigator'sinvestigational new drug application. RTI-55 is a dopamine imagingagent licensed from the Research Triangle Institute of ResearchTriangle Park, N.C. Guilford said preliminary human studies haveshown RTI-55 to be a promising diagnostic agent when used withsingle photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanning. Thecompany claimed that the agent can diagnose Parkinson's in its earlystages, distinguish it from other forms of tremor and monitorprogression of the disease.A competitive glutamate receptor antagonist, NPC-17742, is also beingdeveloped to treat epilepsy, as well as stroke and head trauma. WhenGuilford was formed, the company said several animal studiesindicated that NPC-17742 had potential as a treatment for statusepilepticus and serial seizures, and prevented tolerance to and physicaldependence on morphine and other opiates.Guilford also has nitric oxide synthase blockers that inhibit thesynthesis of nitric oxide in research for the treatment of stroke. Thecompany is licensing this technology from Johns Hopkins University inBaltimore.0329GUILFORD

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