Raising significantly less than intended in its filing seven months ago, CoTherix Inc. took in $30 million in its initial public offering on Friday.

The company priced 5 million shares of common stock at $6 apiece. It also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 750,000 additional shares to cover overallotments.

South San Francisco-based CoTherix - formerly called Exhale Therapeutics Inc. - filed for its IPO in March, seeking to raise about $70 million. In June, it set its range at $12 to $14 per share, but postponed its IPO later that month, citing adverse market conditions. In September, it estimated a per share price range of $8 to $10. (See BioWorld Today, March 16, 2004.)

CoTherix, which remained in an SEC-imposed quiet period on Friday, said in its prospectus that it expects to receive about $25.4 million in net proceeds, or $29.6 million if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option. As of Sept. 30, the company also had $21.2 million in cash and cash equivalents.

The company expects to use up to $15 million to fund the commercialization of Ventavis, which includes establishing field-based clinical, physician education and commercial capabilities, as well as distribution arrangements to launch the product. Another $8 million in proceeds will fund clinical trials for Ventavis. And $9 million will go to Berlin-based Schering AG under a current licensing agreement. Schering would receive the money in the form of a milestone payment upon the approval of the new drug application for Ventavis.

In the summer, CoTherix submitted an NDA for Ventavis as a therapy for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Ventavis is an inhaled formulation of iloprost, a prostacyclin analogue that is sold in several European countries by Schering. CoTherix licensed U.S. rights to Ventavis from Schering last year. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 15, 2003, and July 2, 2004.)

Any additional proceeds and the company's existing cash and cash equivalents will be used to fund working capital and other general corporate purposes. In its prospectus, the company said the proceeds, along with existing cash, will carry CoTherix forward for at least 12 months.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is characterized by severe constriction of the blood vessels of the lungs. The disorder afflicts about 50,000 people in the U.S., of which an estimated 15,000 are diagnosed and undergoing treatments with drugs such as prostacyclins and endothelin receptor antagonists.

CoTherix also is studying Ventavis in combination with Tracleer (bosentan) in a 60-patient Phase II study started in mid-June. Tracleer is made by Allschwil, Switzerland-based Actelion Ltd.

Aside from Ventavis, CoTherix is focused on CTX-100, an inhaled hyaluronic acid solution, in early stage clinical development for emphysema due to smoking and genetic emphysema.

CoTherix's shares (NASDAQ:CTRX) closed unchanged at $6. The company had 19.6 million shares outstanding following the IPO.

Underwriters for the offering are New York-based CIBC World Markets, Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Co., San Francisco-based Thomas Weisel Partners LLC and New York-based Needham & Co.

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