Hygeia Holdings Inc. (VSE:HYG) has brokered a private placementwith Canaccord Capital Corp. and Marleau, Lemire, Securities Inc.,whereby the agents have agreed to use their "best efforts" to place 4million special warrants.The special warrants are priced at C65 cents each (49 cents U.S.) andwill be convertible into one common share and one common sharepurchase warrant. These common share purchase warrants will beexercisable for one year at C80 cents (60 cents U.S.). The companyhopes to raise $2 million U.S. through this offering.The proceeds would be used to develop human monoclonal antibodiesfor therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines to treat colorectal and otherforms of cancer by the Canadian company's subsidiary, HygeiaPharmaceuticals Inc. of San Diego.Hygeia's initial private placement in 1991 raised $1.8 million U.S. Asecond placement through Canaccord in 1993 raised $2 million U.S.The company has also received two Small Business InnovationResearch (SBIR) grants through the National Cancer Institute of theU.S. National Institutes of Health. One was used to pursue Hygeia'shuman monoclonal antibody research and the second for the re-engineering of its fusion partner, designated SHFP-1, which thecompany said has proven critical for the generation of humanmonoclonal antibodies. This was accomplished by taking lymphocytesfrom a regional draining lymph node from a patient with colon cancerand fusing it with the human fusion partner using standard hybridomatechnology, Hygeia Pharmaceuticals said."Our technology is based on the human immune system," said BenteHansen, vice president for business development. "Where othercompanies begin with the antibody, our scientists start with the antigenwhich then identifies the antibody. These antigens are tumor-specific."In September 1993, Hygeia received FDA approval to begin Phase Itrials of its human monoclonal antibody, Monopharm-C, for treatingcolorectal, pancreatic and lung cancers. These trials are nearingcompletion at the Sharp-Rees Stealy Medical Center in San Diego. Thecompany hopes to begin Phase II trials in January 1995 in both the U.S.and Europe.Hygeia's second product, Monopharm G, which targets gliomas,neuroblastomas and ovarian cancer, is still in the pre-clinical stages.The company said it hopes to submit an investigational new drugapplication (IND) by the fall and enter Phase II testing in January 1995.A third product, Monopharm-CSA, a serum tumor assay foradenocarcinomas of the colon, pancreas, stomach, breast and lung, isstill in the in vitro stage. Preliminary results indicate that it positivelydetects the AgSK-1 antigen, a tumor marker released by these cancercells into the bloodstream. Hygeia said it is pursuing collaborationswith what it describes as six "very big" pharmaceutical companies inEurope and the U.S."We have all the components that detect colon cancer in the serum,"Hansen said. "We would like to partner with a large company to makethis product into a diagnostic kit."Hygeia is also in the research and development phase of vaccinedevelopment for the treatment of the types of cancer it is targeting."Since we have found the antigen, the vaccine application of ourproduct is a natural step," Hansen said.
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