By Lisa Seachrist
Last year, the biotechnology industry saw just 16 companies brave the market to become public entities. On Friday, 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals Inc. brought this year's tally to 49 as it raised $75 million.
The Exton, Pa.-based company sold 5 million shares of common stock at a price of $15 a share for research and development purposes and potential technology acquisitions. The offering exceeded the company's initial plan of raising $70 million. With the close of the offering, the company has 19,237,300 shares outstanding.
Bear Stearns & Co., of New York, served as the lead underwriter. Chase H&Q, of New York, and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, of Minneapolis, acted at co-managers for the offering. 3DP offered the underwriters the option to purchase an additional 750,000 shares to cover overallotments.
The company's stock (NASDAQ:DDDP) jumped 19 percent Friday to close at $17.875, up $2.875.
3DP is a specialist in providing technology to accelerate "gene-to-clinic" small-molecule discovery. The company's DiscoveryWorks technologies are aimed at capitalizing on the thousands of new drug targets being discovered as a result of sequencing the human genome.
The company's technologies allow large quantities of target proteins to be produced rapidly. Its ThermoFluor high-throughput screening technology allows rapid screening for any target proteins. The company also has a library of more than 200,000 chemical compounds and a virtual library of approximately 2.5 billion novel analogues that can be synthesized using automated procedures.
3DP's proprietary Directed Diversity technology, which links combinatorial chemistry with a drug property database, allows the synthesis and testing of successive libraries of compounds to optimize drug-like characteristics. As a result, a pharmaceutical company should be able to produce more active drugs for a wide number of targets in less time, the company said.
The company recently produced high-quality crystals of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), the target for most currently marketed drugs. With the crystal structure, the company will be able to derive the first 3-D molecule structure for a GPCR. That discovery will open up the possibility for rationally designed drugs aimed at GPCRs.
In addition to its drug discovery technologies, 3DP has an internal pipeline of cardiovascular and oncology drug candidates, including one clinical and eight preclinical programs. The company's most advanced drug candidate is an orally active antithrombotic agent designed to inhibit the formation of blood clots. This product is in Phase I clinical studies.
The company's most advanced oncology product is an orally active urokinase inhibitor designed to inhibit the supply of blood to, and growth of, tumors. This program is licensed to Schering AG, of Frankfurt, Germany.
3DP in the first quarter this year had $1.484 million in revenues and a net loss of $3.74 million. 3DP ended 1999 with revenues of $4.5 million and a net loss of $16 million.
Among the company's large institutional shareholders are funds affiliated with HealthCare Ventures, of Princeton, N.J.; Rho Management Trust II, of New York; State of Michigan Retirement Systems, of East Lansing, Mich.; Abingworth Bioventures SICAV, of Luxembourg; and Biotech Growth SA, of Zug, Switzerland.
Just last month 3DP announced a $38 million deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., of Princeton, N.J., to discover, refine and develop small-molecule drugs for genetic targets. 3DP also has collaborative discovery agreements with DuPont Pharmaceuticals Co., of Wilmington, Del.; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Ridgefield, N.J.; Aventis Crop Protection GmbH, of Frankfurt, Germany; the agricultural products division of E.I. DuPont, of Wilmington, Del.; Heska Corp., of Fort Collins, Colo.; and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Birmingham, Ala.