Trius sets sights on $86M IPO

In the latest sign that biotech companies are willing to test investors' appetite for clinical-stage companies, San Diego-based Trius Therapeutics has filed for an IPO designed to raise $86 million. If it's a success, Trius will use much of that money to forge through late-stage work on an impressive new antibiotic.

Trius' lead therapy is torezolid phosphate, which is headed into a late-stage trial for the treatment of complex skin infections--a category that includes MRSA. Phase III is scheduled to start early next year, with results due in 2011. That leaves investors betting on mid-stage data, which demonstrated a high cure rate in less than a week of treatment for several doses.

A classic biotech play, Trius has no marketed products and relies on grants and collaborations for its revenue. The developer lost $15.4 in the first three quarters of 2009. Trius is the brainchild of Jeff Stein, PhD, who joined Sofinnova Ventures as a venture partner four years ago. "I joined Sofinnova with the aim of creating an anti-infectives company," Stein told FierceBiotech in early 2008. "That's an area that Sofinnova has wanted to invest in for quite some time."

- here's Trius' statement
- check out the story from CNBC