SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. has raised $46.5 million from thesale of 2 million shares of common stock priced at $23.25 pershare. The shares began trading on Thursday.

Montgomery Securities and Smith Barney Shearson Inc. werethe underwriters for the offering, which was filed in earlyDecember.

SciClone (NASDAQ:SCLN) of San Mateo, Calif., plans to use thefunds to acquire additional products, the company's manager ofcorporate communications, Michelle Slade, told BioWorld.SciClone's strategy is to acquire late-stage proprietarytherapeutic drugs in the areas of infectious diseases, cancer,hepatitis and immune system disorders.

Funds from the offering also will be used for additional trials ofthymosin alpha 1 (trade named Zadaxin), which SciClonelicensed from Alpha 1 Biomedicals Inc. Slade said SciClone willbegin clinical trials of Zadaxin for use in treating hepatitis C andcancer at the end of the year.

SciClone is in Phase III clinicals with Zadaxin for treatingchronic hepatitis B in Taiwan, Mexico and Latin America. Thedrug was approved in Singapore for this indication lastSeptember. SciClone has worldwide rights to the drugeverywhere but the U.S., Canada, Korea, Israel and Europe; 90percent of hepatitis B occurs within SciClone's marketingterritory, Slade said.

Before the offering SciClone had about $47 million in cash onhand and a burn rate of about $1.2 million per month. Afterthe offering the company will have 17.8 million sharesoutstanding. SciClone raised $22.4 million in its 1992 initialpublic offering of 3 million shares of common stock at $7.25per share and 3 million warrants at 20 cents each. Last Augustthe company raised $38.1 million from the redemption ofoutstanding non-redeemable warrants.

SciClone's stock closed unchanged on Thursday at $23.50 ashare in heavy trading of 1.4 million shares.

-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor

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