Cygnus Therapeutic Systems Inc., which is developingtransdermal drug delivery systems, said Thursday that it hasfiled to offer 3 million shares of common stock.

The Redwood City, Calif., company (NASDAQ:CYGN) expects itsfirst commercial product to be its Nicotrol nicotine patch.Cygnus filed in December 1990 a new drug application with theFDA. Warner-Lambert has U.S. marketing rights to the patch.

Three competitors have received FDA marketing approval sinceNovember. Alza Corp. and its marketing partner, MarionMerrell Dow Inc., were the first to receive approval, followedby Ciba-Geigy Corp. and Elan Corp. plc. Elan's marketing partneris American Cyanamid Co.

All the patches are subjects of litigation. Elan sued Cygnus lastMay for alleged infringement of a patent relating topreparations containing nicotine and methods of treatingwithdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation.

Cygnus has two transdermal patches in Phase III trials:fentanyl for the treatment of moderate to severe postoperativepain and estradiol for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Cygnus shares lost $1.25 Thursday, closing at $25.

If the offering is completed, Cygnus will have 14.6 millionshares outstanding. Underwriters Robertson, Stephens & Co.,PaineWebber Inc. and Hambrecht & Quist Inc. have a 450,000-share overallotment option. -- KB

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