Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc announced Wednesday that it hasissued a preliminary prospectus for its proposed listing on theLondon Stock Exchange (LSE). The Cambridge, U.K., firm ishoping to raise between 15 and 20 million pounds Sterling (U.S.$22.7 to $30.3 million at Wednesday's exchange rate) in theoffering of common stock. The placement should be completeby Oct. 19, at which time details of the offering -- including thenumber of shares and their pricing -- will be announced.Trading on the LSE will begin Oct. 25.
Barclays de Zoete Wedd Ltd. will serve as the underwriter.
The shares will not be offered or sold in the U.S.
Cantab's American Depositary Shares (CNTBY) trade onNASDAQ; the stock closed Wednesday at $7.25 unchanged.There are approximately 6.5 ADRs outstanding.
Cantab completed its U.S. initial public offering in the summerof 1992, grossing $10 million from the sale of 1 million shares.The company also raised $5 million in a private placement toinstitutional investors in July.
The new common shares of Cantab stock to be traded on theLSE will eventually be convertable to ADRs, according to aBarclay's spokesman. But there is a 40-day restriction on suchtransactions.
So far, British Bio-technology Group plc is the only Britishbiotechnology company listed on the London Stock Exchange.The LSE planned earlier this year to relax its guidelines andmake it easier for biopharmaceutical companies to gain accessto public funding. Previously, the London exchange hadrequired that any company that wanted to be listed show afive-year profit record -- which effectively shut out all biotechfirms.
The major shift in the listing rules is to allow companies thatdon't have any product sales to seek a listing. There are somecaveats, though: The company must be at least three years oldand have at least two drugs in clinical trials.
The company must further prove its worth by evidence ofpatents -- either granted or in process -- and collaborative R&Dagreements with "organizations of high standing and repute."And it must prove that it has had at least two years ofoperating capital following the public offering.
Cantab's agreements include pacts with Baxter Healthcare Corp.for an agent to prevent organ rejection; the University ofOxford, which gives the company the option to acquire rights tocertain inventions concerning the therapeutic use of T cellreceptors; and Cancer Research Campaign Technology Ltd., tocollaborate on the development of a novel immunotherapeuticproduct for genital warts.
The product Cantab is developing with Baxter, LM-CD45, is inPhase II clinical trials in the U.K.
-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor
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