By Brady Huggett

NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. filed a registration statement with the SEC to publicly offer 3 million shares of its stock, an offering that would raise $127.3 million based on the opening price of its stock Thursday.

The stock (NASDAQ:NPSP) fell $2.437 Thursday, or 5.75 percent, closing at $40.

CIBC World Markets Corp. is lead manager for the offering. Prudential Vector Healthcare Group is co-manager. They have an option to purchase an additional 450,000 shares to cover overallotments.

NPS, of Salt Lake City, focuses on small-molecule drugs and recombinant peptides, developing and commercializing them mainly for bone and mineral disorders and central nervous system disorders. Currently, the company has five drugs in clinical development and several others that are preclinical product candidates.

The company experienced increased research and development expenses in the past year, money primarily spent on trials for new product candidates. ALX1-11, a recombinant form of parathyroid hormone aimed at treating osteoporosis, is currently in Phase III clinical trials, and ALX-0600, an analogue of a growth factor designed to enhance nutrient uptake in short bowel syndrome sufferers, is in a Phase II trial. Both candidates were acquired through the purchase late last year of Allelix Biopharmaceuticals (now called NPS Allelix Corp.). NPS raised $46.8 million for the trials in early February by privately placing 3.9 million shares with institutional investors. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 2, 2000, p. 1; Feb. 16, 2000, p. 1; and May 22, 2000, p. 1.)

NPS' net loss for the first six months of the year was $18.5 million on revenues of about $3.7 million. NPS has nearly 25 million shares outstanding and on June 30 reported cash and equivalents of $73.4 million. Its stock over the past 52 weeks has seen a high of $45 and a low of $3.438.

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