BioChem Pharma Inc. announced Monday that it is shelving a3.5 million-share secondary offering, citing a recent sharpdropoff in its share price.

The company had filed for the secondary offering in April,when the stock (NASDAQ:BCHXF) was selling at $28 per share.It closed Monday at $17.63 per share, up 75 cents.

Withdrawal of the offering was a direct result of the fallenstock price and was not based on any other factors, saidFrancesco Bellini, president and chief executive officer. "At thattime (April), it was very inviting," Bellini said of selling thestock. "Now it is not so inviting."

In April, the 3.5 million shares were valued at $98 million. AtMonday's closing prices, the same number of shares was worth$61.7 million. Bellini said the company was not desperate forcash in April, but that the opportunity was too good to pass up."We have enough money," Bellini said.

The Lavar, Quebec, company said its financial position remainsstrong, with net cash exceeding $30 million. Bellini saidBioChem Pharma (NASDAQ:BCHXF) expects to pick upapproximately $40 million in new capital from the exercise ofwarrant, option and equity subscriptions by Jan. 31, 1993.

According to Bellini, the company had revenues of $30 millionlast year and expects to do "much, much better this year."

Some of the company's revenue comes from its 50-50 jointventure with Glaxo Canada Inc. to develop therapeutics to treatcancer and viral diseases. The companies are also developing afamily of anthracycline analogs to treat cancer and an anti-AIDS nucleoside drug, 3TC, which is now in Phase I/II trials.Bellini said Phase III trials should be finished by the firstquarter of 1994.

BioChem Pharma has nearly 40 million shares outstanding.

-- Steve Payne BioWorld Staff

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