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Endocyte again changes terms of public offering

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West Lafayette-based Endocyte Inc. on Friday changed the estimated terms for its planned initial public offering for the second time in two days and again lowered the expected opening share price.

The biopharmaceutical company now is planning to offer at least 12.5 million shares, or 17 percent more than previously announced, but at a lower price of $6 each.

On Thursday, Endocyte, which is seeking funds for late-stage trials of its lead products in ovarian cancer, expected to offer at least 10.7 million shares for $7 apiece, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company last month had proposed offering 5.35 million shares at $13 to $15 apiece.

This week is the busiest for U.S. initial public offerings since 2007, with Endocyte among at least 11 companies seeking to raise a combined $991 million. Endocyte is in the second of three stages of tests generally needed for U.S. approval for its most advanced drug, called EC145, for ovarian and lung tumors. The pill attaches the vitamin folate to a common chemotherapy to target tumors while avoiding healthy cells.

The company said it plans to use the proceeds from its IPO to fund more tests for EC145 and to advance development of other treatments. Endocyte also is working on drugs for prostate cancer and inflammatory disorders.

Endocyte said it is developing a lab test to identify patients whose tumors have excessive amounts of folate, making them most likely to benefit from the pill. The vitamin aids cell division, and some tumors overproduce folate as they grow.

Endocyte would employ a 50- to 75-person sales force for EC145 after the drug’s clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the initial offering plan. The company may seek partners to promote the pill outside the U.S.

The Endocyte offering was arranged by Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada and Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co. The shares will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker ECYT.

The last time more IPOs were completed in a week was in December 2007, just as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was beginning its descent into the worst bear market since the Great Depression.
 

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