By Brady Huggett

Wasting little time after disclosing it planned to file a shelf registration, Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. said it expects to file a preliminary prospectus statement to offer 3.25 million shares of common stock.

Based on Tuesday¿s closing price of $44.97, the offering would raise about $146.2 million. Neurocrine¿s stock (NASDAQ:NBIX) rose 88 cents Wednesday to close at $45.85.

San Diego-based Neurocrine said it will grant underwriters an option to purchase 487,000 shares to cover overallotments. The joint bookrunning managers are Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., both of New York. Co-managers are CIBC World Markets Corp., of New York; Lehman Brothers Inc., of New York; and UBS Warburg LLC, of Stamford, Conn.

Neurocrine officials could not comment on the offering due to SEC regulations.

The company released news Nov. 13 stating it intended to file a shelf registration to sell up to $200 million in common stock, preferred stock or debt securities. Days later, it initiated a Phase III trial of its product, NBI-34060, in about 500 patients with chronic insomnia. The randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, multicenter study will evaluate two doses of NBI-34060 Immediate Release for the long-term treatment of chronic insomnia in adults. The trial will be conducted at approximately 40 sites in the United States and Europe. (See BioWorld Today, Nov. 19, 2001.)

In October, Neurocrine said it had received a $15.5 million milestone payment from GlaxoSmithKline plc, of London, through the companies¿ agreement on corticotropin-releasing factor receptor antagonists. When the deal was signed, Neurocrine said it stood to receive about $25.5 million in the deal through up-front payments and early milestones. (See BioWorld Today, July 25, 2001.)

The milestone payment helped Neurocrine post a net gain of about $2.5 million, or 9 cents a share on a diluted basis, for 2001¿s third quarter, pulling in total revenues of about $21.6 million. As of Sept. 30, the company had about $161 million in cash and equivalents, marketable securities and current receivables. It based its earnings per share data on nearly 28 million diluted shares.

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