NPS Pharmaceuticals postponed its initial public offering (IPO) afterdeciding that it wasn't going to raise the money it is worth, the SaltLake City company announced Friday.NPS was looking to raise more than $20 million when, on Jan. 21, itfiled an IPO to sell 2.5 million shares of common stock at $8 to $10 pershare. An amendment filed later with the Securities and ExchangeCommission indicated the company would be willing to reduce theprice to $6 per share and the offering to 1.5 million shares."We set out to do a deal that was going to be north of $20 million andit turned out we [eight institutional names willing to commit] were justunder $10 million," said Ted Berghorst, chairman and chief executiveofficer of the offering's co-manager, Vector Securities InternationalInc.Berghorst said "we really think NPS is onto something" and shouldn'tbe short-changed because of the weakened life sciences area. "Youdon't try to push a quality situation in a market like this," he said.NPS had about $10.4 million in cash as of early January with anundisclosed commitment from SmithKline Beecham coming from theircollaboration, said Alan Mendelson, outside counsel for NPS and apartner with Cooley, Godward, Castro, Huddleson & Tatum of PaloAlto, Calif. He said a burn rate was unavailable, but that NPS spentabout $8 million in 1993 with revenues of $868,000.NPS, founded in 1986, is developing small-molecule drugs that targetion regulators, specifically calcium ion regulators. The company hascloned calcium receptors and identified lead compounds active on thereceptors. NPS has an agreement with SmithKline Beecham forcommercialization of drugs to treat osteoporosis and an agreement withBrigham and Women's Hospital for development of drugs targeted atcalcium receptors.No one from the company was available for comment Fridayafternoon. A prepared statement indicated that progress is continuing asplanned in the company's clinical trials of its lead compound, NPS R-568, a treatment for hyperparathyroidism.

-- Jim Shrine

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