Cantab Pharmaceuticals plc on Tuesday said it has filed thefirst initial public offering in the United States by a biotechcompany based in the United Kingdom.

The company, formerly Immunology Ltd., proposes to sell 2million shares of common stock represented by AmericanDepositary Shares with a proposed price range of $10 to $12.

The Cambridge, England, company is developing products intwo principal areas: leukocyte modulators, which regulate orblock immune system function; and therapeutic antigens, whichactivate specific immune responses. Cantab's initial focus is onthe prevention of organ transplant rejection and the treatmentof Crohn's disease, cervical cancer and genital herpes.

Last October, Cantab and Baxter Healthcare Corp. signed adevelopment and marketing agreement for anti-CD45 to reducerejection of transplanted kidneys. Baxter received exclusivemarketing rights in the U.S. and Europe in exchange for fundingdevelopment of the drug. Cantab retained rights elsewhere.

Cantab and Baxter have received U.K. governmental approval tobegin this year Phase I/II trials of anti-CD45. The drug is usedto pre-treat organs before they are transplanted. Anti-CD45binds to the cells on the organ that are a major source ofantigen stimulation in the patient, decreasing the acuterejection response and reducing the amount ofimmunosuppressant medication required, according to thecompany.

Of the ADSs being offered, 1.5 million will be sold in the U.Sand the remainder will be offered internationally. If theoffering is completed, Cantab will have 7 million sharesoutstanding. Underwriters PaineWebber Inc. and Oppenheimer& Co. Inc. have a 300,000-ADS overallotment option. -- KarenBernstein

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