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Ista IPO Ends Trading Day 2% Over Its Offering Price

August 23, 2000|MARC BALLON

Shares of Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped 16% in their first day of trading Tuesday, before settling back to close about 2% above the initial offering price.

The Irvine research and development company, backed in part by eye-care company Allergan Inc., closed at $10.75 a share, up 25 cents in Nasdaq trading. In early trading, the stock hit $12.13 a share.

The company had raised about $31.5 million late Monday by selling 3 million shares to its underwriters at $10.50 a share. It expects to pick up about $28 million, after fees and expenses, to use for clinical trials and research, possible acquisitions and general corporate expenses.

Ista had a bumpy road to its initial public offering: It twice dropped its proposed offering price because of sluggish interest in a company with no products or revenue.

Also, the company has lost $45.3 million since January 1995.

"They anticipated a bigger demand for their stock than there is," Tom Madden, a partner at Calabasas data company IPO Monitor, said last week.

Allergan, also based in Irvine, has pumped $10 million into Ista's work in developing Vitrase, a treatment for eye diseases.

Ista's ticker symbol is ISTA.

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