By Matthew Willett

Elitra Pharmaceuticals Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering Tuesday, estimating proceeds of $86.25 million.

The San Diego-based functional genomics company focused on antimicrobial therapeutics also intends to place an undisclosed quantity of its stock worth $5 million privately in conjunction with the public offering.

The concurrent private placement is part of a June deal with Incyte Genomics Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., for Elitra's acquisition of the source code and microbial sequence data unique to Incyte's PathoSeq database. That deal also included the right to market and sell the PathoSeq database.

Chase H&Q, of San Francisco, is acting as lead underwriter for the public offering. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc., of Minneapolis, is co-underwriter.

Elitra's registration form with the SEC didn't include a proposed share price range or an estimate of the number of shares the company plans to offer, but it estimated an underwriter's overallotment option to purchase additional shares worth $11.25 million.

The company has applied for listing on Nasdaq under the symbol ELIT.

Elitra seeks to discover, develop and market novel antibiotics and antifungals using its proprietary bioinformatics database and ultra-rapid "gene-to-lead" high-throughput screening technique.

The company uses a functional genomics approach to drug discovery, employing a proprietary "shotgun antisense" technology that uses short RNA or DNA strands to stop specific protein production, determining whether associated genes are essential to a microorganism's survival.

So far, the company has applied its techniques and technology to therapeutics for drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus fumigatus.

Elitra said it will use the proceeds from the offering and concurrent private placement for research and development activities, to access complementary technologies, compound and product library acquisition, patent prosecution and capital investment, in addition to general corporate expenses.

It added that the offering should fund operations for the next 18 months.

As of June 30 the company had $11.29 million in cash and cash equivalents. Since inception the company has issued preferred stock in private placements for proceeds of $45.8 million.

Principal shareholders in Elitra include Wende S. Hutton, representing the Mayfield Fund, of Menlo Park, Calif., with 15.8 percent of pre-offering shares; Andrew W. Senyei, representing Enterprise Partners, of La Jolla, Calif., with 15.4 percent of pre-offering interest; Charles Hsu, representing The Walden Group, of San Francisco, with 14.9 percent of Elitra; and Arnold L. Oronsky, representing Interwest Partners, also of Menlo Park, with a 13.3 percent interest in the company.

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