Shares of CytRx Corp. on Thursday fell nearly 20 percent after the cancer drug developer priced a public offering of 8 million common shares at a comparable discount.

The West Los Angeles biotech, which now has a market cap of $53 million and 21 million shares outstanding, intends to use net proceeds to finance mid-stage clinical studies of two drug candidates and for general corporate purposes.

It expects gross proceeds of $20 million. The offering was priced at $2.50, 20 percent below Wednesday’s market close. Aegis Capital Corp. is managing the offering. CytRx granted it a 30-day option to purchase additional 1.2 million shares cover any over-allotments.

One of the drugs is being evaluated as a treatment for soft-tissue sarcomas, and the other is being considered to treat non-small lung cancer.

Shares closed down 61 cents, or 19.6 percent, to $2.50 on the Nasdaq.