Synergen Inc. stock jumped $5.50 on Thursday after thecompany reported preliminary Phase II results showing thatAntril "significantly reduces mortality" in patients with sepsissyndrome.

The company, whose stock (NASDAQ:SYGN) closed Thursday at$63.25, also filed for a public offering of 3 million shares ofcommon stock, its second offering this year.

Three different doses of Antril were tested in a total of 99patients who showed signs of the sepsis syndrome, a bodywideinflammatory response to infection that can shut down organsand result in death. According to the results, presented at theannual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians,mortality decreased with increasing dosage.

Four of 25 patients given the highest dose died by 28 dayspost-treatment, compared with 11 of 25 who got a placebo, andeight of 25 and six of 24 who received lower doses of the drug.

"It was impressive data," Prudential Bache analyst Joe Edelmantold BioWorld, "and most impressive is the dose response."

Antril blocks the action of interleukin-1, a cytokine or immunesystem messenger, at its cell surface receptors. Other biotechcompanies have tested other septic shock products clinically,with limited success.

During the recent patent trial between rivals Centocor Inc. andXoma Corp., testimony raised questions on the efficacy of bothcompanies' monoclonal antibody entries into the sepsis arena.Analysts, meanwhile, have debated whether Synergen wouldbe able to get its Antril entry ready in time to grab anappreciable share of the market.

Centocor shares (NASDAQ:CNTO) closed down $1.75 at $45.25.Xoma (NASDAQ:XOMA) dropped 50 cents to $19.

After the presentation, Synergen President Jon Saxe said heestimates that Antril will reach the market by mid-1994.Completed Phase III testing is expected by the end of 1992.

In February, the Boulder, Colo., company sold 2.5 million sharesat $34.50 per share, grossing $86.25 million.

If the latest offering is completed, Synergen will have 25million shares outstanding. Underwriters Alex. Brown & SonsInc. and Robertson, Stephens & Co., have a 450,000-shareoverallotment option.

-- Roberta Friedman, Ph.D. Special to BioWorld

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