Albatross still on biostocks By Karen Bernstein

If there are any companies left out there still hoping for a wide open offerings window after Labor Day, the word from Wall Street is - forget it.

"I said six months ago there's enough strength in this market to do $100 million worth of offerings a month," said David MacCallum, co-head of investment banking at Hambrecht & Quist. "But experience shows it's no more than half that number, including these semi-public placements. We're down now to a basal metabolism rate."

The latest casualty among companies testing the market was Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., which last week postponed its 2.5 million share initial public offering with a proposed price range of $9-$11.


"The offers we were getting were substantially below what TKT was willing to accept," said President and CEO K. Michael Forrest. "A lot of these institutional investors seem to believe they're overweight in health care, period, and they're not willing to add to their portfolio. There have been a lot of redemptions in funds and so they find themselves cash short. To put in a new company, they would have to get rid of other stock, but those companies are at the bottom of their range."