Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., the victim of an increasingly selectivepublic offerings market, said Thursday that it sold 1 millionshares of common stock at $12.50 per share, half the numberof shares it had proposed to sell.

"Investors only want to buy stocks of companies in humanclinical trials, and they're not in clinicals," said Larry Bloom, ananalyst at SoundView Financial.

Isis has hit weak markets twice this year. In May, the Carlsbad,Calif., antisense company raised $25 million in an initial publicoffering of 2.5 million shares priced at $10. That was far belowthe $39 million to $45 million it had hoped to raise through 3million shares priced at $13 to $15.

Before the Nov. 15 stock sell-off, Isis (NASDAQ:ISIP) had beentrading in the upper teens. It closed Thursday down 75 cents at$12.25. After the offering, Isis has 12.6 million sharesoutstanding. An additional 150,000 shares are available tocover overallotments.

Earlier this week, Liposome Technology Inc. said that itsunderwriters, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. and Kidder, Peabody &Co. Inc., exercised only a portion of their overallotment option,selling 169,000 shares priced at $9.38. The underwriters had atotal overallotment of 450,000 shares following the sale of 3million of the company's common shares in November.

The full overallotment failed to sell despite two recent bullishanalyst reports citing the strong prospects for the company'sStealth liposome technology.

But, said Bloom, there are still a lot of skeptics on liposomes."The underwriters might not have wanted to take a chance onbuying the stock and getting stuck with it in their ownportfolios," he said.

Stock of the Menlo Park, Calif., company (NASDAQ:LTIZ) closedat $13.50, up 63 cents. After the offering, LTIZ has 16.2 millionshares outstanding.

-- Karen Bernstein BioWorld Staff

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