Guilford Pharmaceuticals to sell 2.8 million shares


Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. said yesterday that it plans to sell 2.8 million shares of stock to the public for $8 each, helping the fledgling spinoff of Nova Pharmaceutical Corp. raise as much as $22.4 million before underwriting costs.

The money would be a boost to the research efforts of Guilford, which was founded by Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist Solomon H. Snyder. The company does not yet have any products on the market.

Guilford was formed to discover, develop and commercialize products to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases of the central nervous system. The company's initial product candidates are intended for patients with brain cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, stroke and severe epilepsy.

The company has already won a $4 million investment from Scios Nova Corp., which bought Nova in 1992, and $250,000 from a state venture capital fund.

The new company's leading product is a drug delivery system called Gliadel, which improves the effectiveness of drugs used to treat malignant brain tumors, Dr. Snyder said in February. Gliadel has proved to be more effective than existing treatments in clinical studies to date, with none of the side effects of conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he said.

Assuming Food and Drug Administration approval next year, the product should be ready for large-scale manufacturing in late 1995, he added.

Company officials were not available yesterday. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations bar companies issuing stock or bonds from making public comments while the issues are pending.

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