Osiris filing says IPO could raise $50 million

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 18, 2006|By TRICIA BISHOP | TRICIA BISHOP,SUN REPORTER

Osiris Therapeutics could raise more than $50 million from its initial stock offering, the company said yesterday.

The Fells Point stem-cell technology company expects to sell 3.5 million shares at $11 to $13 each, according to an amended registration filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The underwriters would be able to obtain an additional 525,000 shares to cover over-allotments.

After the offering, the company will have 27 million shares outstanding.

Over the last two years, Osiris has raised $70 million in venture capital funding. But it has never turned a profit and reported in its SEC filing a loss of $20 million for 2005 and $5.1 million for the first quarter of 2006.

"We expect losses to continue for at least the next several years," the document states.

This is the second time the company has moved to go public. It initially filed paperwork detailing such intentions with the SEC in 1997, but abandoned those plans several months later, claiming the market was unreceptive to new biotech companies.

Some say that's still the case. The number of companies going public dropped by nearly half last year, and the amounts raised by the biotechs were lackluster, the National Venture Capital Association has said.

Osiris uses stem cells from the bone marrow of adult volunteers to create tissue-regeneration treatments. During the last year and a half, the company became the first to receive "fast track" development designation from the Food and Drug Administration for a stem-cell product, and it won market approval for a bone-regeneration treatment that's a stem-cell hybrid.

Osiris executives are hoping to bring their first pure stem-cell drug to market by next year and plan to use the funds raised in the initial public offering for clinical trials, as well as research and development and to pay off a loan.

The underwriters are Jefferies & Co., Lazard Capital Markets and Leerink Swann & Co.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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