MACROCHEM SEEKING TO RAISE $3 MIL. TO COMPLETE DEVELOPMENT OF ANTICONVULSANT LICENSED FROM COLGATE; START-UP FIRM PURSUING DRUG & DELIVERY SYSTEM PROJECTS
The four-year old Massachusetts start-up firm, MacroChem, is seeking to raise approximately $3 mil. to complete development of a product licensed from Colgate-Palmolive and to pursue work on several other drugs and transdermal delivery technologies. In a recent prospectus, the firm noted it obtained an exclusive license in 1981 from Colgate to develop an oral anti-convulsant, Antilon, and "certain chemically related compounds." In April 1985, the firm announced it had filed an NDA for the compound. The prospectus explained that Antilon is "structurally related to phenobarbital . . . but is less sedating, produces less hyperactivity and is as effective or more effective than phenobarbital or primidone in reducing seizures in a significant number of patients, as shown in human clinical studies conducted by Colgate." All the studies necessary for the NDA filing were conducted by Colgate. In addition, in animal studies, the drug was more effective "against febrile convulsions than phenobarbital or Valium, the prospectus stated. The febrile convulsions claim has as yet not been pursued in the clinic, according to the prospectus. The prospectus indicated MacroChem intends to hire and train a small sales force to market Antilon when it receives FDA approval. Just over half of the funds from the offering are targeted towards R&D projects. The company anticipates devoting $640,000 to pharmaceuticals, $700,000 to drug delivery systems, and $250,000 to specialty industrial chemicals. MacroChem licensed a second set of pharmaceutical compounds from Colgate, which have potential as osteoporosis treatments. The compounds were subsequently licensed to Monsanto's Continental Pharma subsidiary. In addition to Antilon, MacroChem is looking at a fluoride compound and a series of topical antimicrobials, licensed from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Because of its solubility characteristics, the fluoride agent "may permit greater absorption of fluride in mouth tissues than is possible with available fluoride preparations," the prospectus states. In animal tests on the antimicrobials, the compounds have shown "a significant inhibitory effect against skin-damaging microbes and an extremely low order of toxicity." The prospectus maintained that the compounds could be available for use in cosmetics by 1987. In the delivery system area, MacroChem is developing several products including a group of transdermal penetration enhancers called Sepas. The prospectus indicated that the firm hopes the enhancers will allow for transdermal delivery of high-dose, poorly-absorbed drugs. The initial applications for the technology are expected to be in agriculture, cosmetics and textile manufacturing, the prospectus explained. "The company anticipates that Sepas for industrial applications will be ready for marketing in 1986 and for pharmaceutical use at a later date." The prospectus indicated that the company is attempting to develop drug-delivery polymer compounds for use either in or on the body. The research program, which began in September 1984 is expected to generate several compounds for testing my mid-1985. MacroChem is headed by Chairman Carlos Samour, PhD, and President George Stevens. Samour worked at Colgate's Kendall Labs subsidiary as director of its Lexington Lab from 1973 to 1981. He is named on 35 of the 50 patents licensed to MacroChem. Stevens is a former Berlex senior VP. The offering is being handled by Herbert Young Securities.
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