CETUS WILL HAVE OVER $100 MIL. CASH AFTER PUBLIC OFFERING
CETUS WILL HAVE OVER $100 MIL. CASH AFTER PUBLIC OFFERING, the firm indicated in a preliminary prospectus, dated Jan. 21, detailing a two mil. share public offering by the company that is expected to raise $50 mil. The biotech firm has already earmarked approximately $30 mil. of the proceeds for capital expenditures. The remaining $20 mil., added to the $85 mil. in cash and short-term securities that Cetus had on its books at the end of 1985, will push the firm's cash position well over the $100 mil. mark. "The company anticipated that approximately $30 mil. of the net proceeds will be used for the construction or purchase of manufacturing and development facilities and related capital equipment," the prospectus states. "The majority of the balance will be used to finance R&D programs and expanded preclinical and clinical testing programs for therapeutic products. Any remaining proceeds will be used to build sales and marketing capabilities and to provide working capital." In addition to the 2 mil. shares put up by Cetus, another 1 mil. shares of Cetus stock is being offered by Chevron Corp., which plans to sell its entire 16% interest in Cetus via the offering. Cetus estimates that between 25.4 mil. and 25.7 mil. shares will be outstanding after the offering. Cetus stock closed at $24.50 a share on Jan. 31. A strong cash position continues to remain a cornerstone of Cetus' operating philosophy. According to the prospectus, in each of the last four fiscal years (ended June 30), the company has maintained an average cash/short-term securities balance of $88.5 mil., making up an average 63.4% of total assets. Cetus noted that as a result of its joint venture with Ben Venue in the generic cancer therapeutics area, "ANDAs for various sizes of three drugs have been filed with the FDA and ANDAs for several additional drugs are expected to be filed during the next year." Established last fall ("The Pink Sheet" Sept. 30, p. 5), the venture calls for Ben Venue to formulate and manufacture the products and for Cetus to market them. Two of Cetus' in-house therapeutic products furthest along the R&D pipeline are Proleukin (interleukin-2) and Betaseron (beta interferon). "The company is producting Proleukin in quantities sufficient for use in an extensive clinical testing program which currently involves over 500 patients in more than 30 Phase I and II clinical studies," the prospectus states. Discussing Betaseron, the prospectus notes that roughly 350 patients have been tested in over 30 Phase I and II trials "against a number of cancers such as renal, brain, skin colorectal and leukemia."
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