Xenova Group plc has filed a statement with the Securities andExchange Commission for an initial public offering of 3 millionAmerican Depository Shares, representing 3 million of its ordinaryshares, at an expected price range of $13-15 per share. In itsannouncement on Tuesday, the Slough, U.K.-based company said 2million of the shares will be offered in the U.S.

PaineWebber Inc., Lehman Brothers and Cowen & Co. are theunderwriters for the offering. James Capel & Co., a London-basedinternational securities and investment firm, will co-manage theoffering with them for the 1 million shares being offeredinternationally. The underwriters have the option to purchase anadditional 450,000 shares to cover overallotments. Xenova plans toapply for a listing under the NASDAQ symbol XNVAY.

Upon completion of the offering Xenova will have 11.7 million sharesoutstanding, excluding any overallotments. As of Sept. 30, 1993, ithad roughly $30 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Xenova's last private placement was in December 1992, when itraised $32.3 million, primarily from U.S. investors (see BioWorld, Jan.11, 1993). Genentech Inc., one of Xenova's strategic partners,invested $3.5 million in that offering.

Xenova is one of a handful of British companies that have filed IPOsin the U.S. Cantab Pharmaceuticals and British Bio-Technology Groupwere the first to seek U.S. investors through IPOs in 1992, and EthicalHoldings plc. filed its IPO last April.

Xenova specializes in the discovery and development of small-molecule drugs derived from naturally occurring microorganismssuch as fungi and bacteria, and from plants and plant extracts. Thecompany has six lead compounds in preclinical development: aninhibitor of multiple drug resistance, ras sarnesyl transferase (ras-ft)and receptor tyrosine kinase; a GABA-BzR agonist for anxiety orepilepsy; inhibitors of plasminogen activator inhibitor for thrombosis;and inhibitors of collagenase for rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition to its deal with Genentech, Xenova has collaborations fordiscovering small-molecule therapeutics with Genzyme Corp.,Warner-Lambert Co. and Suntory Ltd.

-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.