By Lisa Seachrist
Braving a capricious market, Argonaut Technologies Inc. and Regeneration Technologies Inc. each filed registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission for initial public offerings of $86.25 million.
Neither company disclosed the number of shares it intends to offer nor the proposed per-share price. Both companies are bound by an SEC quiet period and were unavailable for comment.
San Carlos, Calif.-based Argonaut, which specializes in high-speed parallel synthesis of chemical compounds, is looking to the public markets to fund the development and manufacture of existing products, the research and development of new products, the expansion of its facilities, and to repay debt.
Warburg Dillon Read LLC in Stamford, Conn., is serving as lead underwriter for the offering with ING Barings LLC and SG Cowen Securities Corp., both of New York, also are underwriting the offering. The company will grant the underwriters an overallotment option.
Argonaut's business is based on developing a means for pharmaceutical chemists to keep up with the rapid pace of drug target discovery resulting from the explosive growth in gene technology. While discovering genes lends itself quite well to automated techniques, developing compounds aimed at those drug targets is a more time-consuming effort. Argonaut seeks to enable the rapid synthesis of a wide range of small molecules to reduce the time and cost of those efforts.
Argonaut's products include synthesizers, chemical reagents, software and chemical resins for conducting high-speed parallel synthesis - a means of creating multiple compounds. The company intends to become the leading provider of productivity- and quality-enhancing tools for all stages of development. The company's Trident line is designed for lead optimization. That line includes the Trident Library Synthesizer, an automated parallel library synthesis tool; the Trident Workstation, a semi-automated benchtop parallel synthesizer; and the Trident Sample Processing Station, an automated parallel workup and purification station.
The Quest product line is designed to aid in preclinical development. That line includes Quest 210, a small-scale, semi-automated system and Quest 205, a large-scale semi-automated system.
Argonaut has more than 545 customers, including Merck & Co. Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Wilmington, Del.
Last year, Argonaut had about $10.5 million in net sales and $7.6 million in net losses according to the financial data in the prospectus. As of March 31, the company had roughly $9.1 million in cash.
Upon completion of the offering the company will trade on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol AGNT.
Allograft specialist Regeneration Technologies Inc. (RTI), of Alachua, Fla., seeks cash from the public markets to build a new manufacturing facility, construct additional BioCleanse systems, and expand its tissue recovery and distribution activities.
Banc of America Securities LLC, of San Francisco, is serving as lead underwriter for the offering. Other underwriters include Lehman Brothers Inc., of New York; Warburg Dillon Read LLC; and Stephens Inc., of Little Rock, Ark. The company will offer the underwriters an overallotments option.
RTI provides cadaveric human tissues to repair and promote healing of bones and other tissues. The company's goal is to replace conventional implant approaches, including metals, synthetics and autograft implants, with an allograft procedure.
Allografts involve recovering tissue from a cadaveric donor, processing the tissue to inactivate pathogens, and transplanting the tissue to patients. The company's products include bone dowels, urological allografts and heart valves. To produce the allograft products, RTI processes bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and pericardial and cardiovascular tissues.
RTI relies on its proprietary BioCleanse system, which kills or inactivates all classes of conventional pathogens, viruses, microbes, bacteria, and fungi at lower cost than other methods.
Last year the company shipped more than 90,000 processed allografts for use in approximately 60,000 procedures. RTI had total revenue last year of $73 million and a net income of $2.9 million.
When the offering is completed, RTI will trade on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol RTIX.