LXR Biotechnology Inc., a company specializing in apoptosis, has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of 3 million shares of common stock, with a target range of $6-8 per share.

LXR of Richmond, Calif., filed for the offering on Dec. 10, with D. Blech & Co. Inc. serving as the underwriter.

LXR was founded in April 1992 to develop therapeutics to treat diseases caused by the abnormal or disregulation of naturally occurring, programmed cell death (apoptosis). The failure of cells to undergo apoptosis in a timely manner can play a critical role in proliferative diseases such as cancer; conversely, if cells undergo apoptosis prematurely, the result can be severe tissue damage such as evidenced in stroke.

LXR has developed an assay system to screen small molecules that may affect apoptosis. In addition, the company has identified, developed or in-licensed lead compounds for its R&D programs on cardiovascular disease, metastatic breast cancer and immunosuppressive disorders. In particular, LXR has identified and filed patent applications on a small molecule agent that in vitro exhibits anti-apoptotic effects and which, based on clinical trials for unrelated indications, is safe for human use.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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