Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc. has filed for an initial publicoffering of 2 million shares of common stock with a proposedprice range of $10 to $12 per share. If the offering iscompleted, the Plymouth Meeting, Pa., company will have 8.3million shares outstanding.

Magainin is developing drugs based on a family of host-defensepeptides called magainins to treat infections and certaincancers, and to promote wound healing. Magainins kill infectedor diseased cells by forming a channel through the membraneof the cell, allowing water, ions and other cellular andextracellular fluids to rush through, destroying the cell.

The company's initial focus is on the development of topicalanti-infectives. Its lead compound, MSI-78, has shown inpreclinical studies the ability to rapidly kill a broad range oforganisms, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa andStaphylococcus aureus. Magainin plans to file aninvestigational new drug application to begin clinical trials inthe first half of 1992.

Magainins were discovered in 1987 by Dr. Michael Zasloff,chairman of the company's scientific advisory board, whileconducting genetic and molecular research on African clawedfrogs.

Underwriters Smith Barney and Tucker Anthony Inc. have anoption to purchase an additional 300,000 shares to coveroverallotments. -- Karen Bernstein

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