Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp., formerly Neurogenetic Corp.,has filed for an initial public offering of 2.5 million shares ofcommon stock priced at $10 to $12 per share, the companysaid.

Synaptic said it changed its name to reflect its focus on drugsthat act at the synapse, the key site of signal transmissionwithin the nervous system.

The Paramus, N.J., company, founded in 1987, is developingdrugs to modulate the functioning of the nervous system,focusing on disorders that have historically been difficult tomanage, such as depression, anxiety, migraine headache andurinary symptoms of enlarged prostate.

Synaptic will begin animal tests this year of several leadcompounds with specificity for particular receptors. Thecompany has no drugs in the clinic.

In January 1991, Eli Lilly and Co. signed a research agreementwith Synaptic to discover and develop drugs to treat centraland peripheral nervous system disorders. As part of theagreement, Lilly paid for an exclusive worldwide license toSynaptic's cloned human serotonin neuroreceptors.

Synaptic's major internal program is developing drugs based onadrenergic receptors to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia andfor anesthesia applications. The company is also developinguptake carrier-based compounds to treat epilepsy.

The company declined to state how many shares will beoutstanding if the offering is completed. UnderwritersOppenheimer & Co. Inc. and Prudential Securities Inc. have a375,000-share overallotment option. -- KB

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