By Brady Huggett

NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. priced its public offering at $42 per share, sold 1 million more shares than it initially filed for, and raised $168 million - $40.7 million more than its estimated proceeds at the time of filing.

NPS sold 4 million shares in the offering, led by CIBC World Markets Corp., of New York, and co-managed by Prudential Vector Healthcare, of New York, and Robertson Stephens Inc., of San Francisco. Underwriters have an option to purchase 600,000 shares to cover overallotments.

NPS, of Salt Lake City, stood to raise $127.3 million through the offering based on the opening price of its stock - $42.437 - and the number of shares - 3 million - the day the filing was announced. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 8, 2000.)

It had 24.1 million shares outstanding before the offering and approximately $73 million in cash and cash equivalents on June 30. The company is in an SEC-imposed silent period.

NPS has a pipeline stuffed with product candidates in a range of indications. It has proprietary, preclinical products in the fields of epilepsy, diabetes and pain. It has a product for osteoporosis partnered with SmithKline Beecham Corp., one for psychiatric indications coupled with Eli Lilly and Co. and a schizophrenia product partnered with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. All three partnered products are preclinical. The deals with Eli Lilly and Janssen are related to compounds from Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc., with which NPS merged in 1999. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 29, 1999.)

In the clinic, NPS has an epilepsy/bipolar product partnered with Abbott Laboratories that completed two Phase I trials in the United Kingdom last year. It has a product for stroke/depression that is proprietary, but NPS has suspended human clinical trials for it as it seeks a partner. It has a product for gastrointestinal disorders in Phase II trials, and also a product for hyperparathyroidism, partnered with Amgen Inc. and Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, in Phase II.

ALX1-11 is its product furthest along in development. It is in Phase III trials for osteoporosis, where the compound's effectiveness in fracture prevention and its ability to increase bone mineral density is being measured. The product also has entered a trial for osteoporosis coordinated by the University of California, San Francisco, and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, of Bethesda, Md., where it will be tested in combination with Fosamax, a Merck & Co. Inc. product. (See BioWorld Today, May 22, 2000.)

NPS' stock (NASDAQ:NPSP), which has traded between $3.44 and $58 in the past 52 weeks, closed unchanged Friday at $46.375.

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