West Coast Editor

DOV Pharmaceutical Inc. braved rough financial waters and registered for an initial public offering, aiming to raise about $86.2 million.

A spokeswoman said the Hackensack, N.J.-based firm was under quiet-period SEC regulations and could not comment about the IPO, but its registration statement said DOV plans to trade under the Nasdaq symbol “DOVP.”

DOV, which raised $10.4 million in a Series D convertible preferred stock financing last fall, has five drug candidates in studies. The firm is partnered with Wayne, N.J.-based American Cyanamid Co. (part of Madison, N.J.-based American Home Products), a relationship begun in May 1998 when the company in-licensed four compounds: NBI-34060, ocinaplon, bicifadine and DOV 216,303. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 18, 2001.)

In Phase III trials is NBI-34060 for insomnia, being developed in a deal with Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., of San Diego. The trials will involve about 2,200 subjects. Ocinaplon, for anxiety disorders, has completed a Phase II trial and a second Phase II study is under way. Bicifadine, for pain, will enter Phase III trials by the end of this year, the company said in its registration statement.

DOV 216,303 is the company’s lead candidate for depression. A Phase Ib dose-ranging trial is expected to begin by the end of 2002.

DOV diltiazem, the firm’s proprietary formulation of diltiazem, is its product candidate for the treatment of angina. A Phase III study likely will begin by the end of this year, comparing DOV’s version to placebo and to another marketed formulation. It’s being developed with Biovail Corp., of Toronto.

In its registration statement, which did not specify the number of shares to be issued in the IPO, DOV reported revenue for 2001 of $5.71 million, with a net loss of $5.64 million for the year. The company had $13.57 million in cash.