Houghten Pharmaceuticals Inc. took its combinatorial chemistrytechnology into the public equity markets and generated more than$26 million, but the offering fell short of expectations.

The San Diego company registered to sell 3 million shares in a pricerange of $11 to $13 per share. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 16, 1996,p.1.)

The initial public offering, boosted by 300,000 shares, was pricedFriday at $8 for gross proceeds of $26.4 million, about $10 millionless than Houghten anticipated.

Underwriters for the IPO were Dillon Read & Co., Hambrecht &Quist LLC and Salomon Brothers Inc., all of New York.

Houghten, founded in 1990, uses combinatorial chemistry tosynthesize small molecule compounds. It has drug discoverycollaborations with Novo Nordisk A/S, of Bagsvaerd, Denmark,Proctor & Gamble Corp., of Cincinnati, Cadus Pharmaceutical Corp.,of Tarrytown, N.Y., and Immunex Corp., of Seattle.

Houghten also is developing its own drug candidates and its mostadvanced compound, HP 228, is a cytokine regulating agent underevaluation in a Phase II trial for reduction of pain and chemotherapytoxicities in cancer patients.

HP 228 is designed to restrain negative effects of cytokines, such asinterleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor, without disrupting theirbeneficial immune system functions. Houghten also has filed aninvestigational new drug application to begin clinical trials of thedrug for treatment of obese Type II diabetes patients.

Houghten, in October 1995, entered into a research collaborationwith ChromaXome Corp., a combinatorial biology company, togenerate new sources of compounds.

ChromaXome, of San Diego, mixes genes from differentmicroorganisms in bacterial hosts, such as Escherichia coli, toexpress unique biochemicals. n

-- Charles Craig

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.