Durham drug-development company Scynexis hopes to raise up to $68.1 million with an initial public offering of stock.

Scynexis disclosed in a new securities filing Wednesday that it is targeting the sale of 4.2 million shares at between $12 and $14 per share. The underwriters also have an option to purchase an additional 634,620 shares.

Scynexis’ net proceeds from the offering, after deducting fees and expenses, would be $47.6 million if the company goes public at $13 per share. Its proceeds would rise to $55.2 million if the underwriters exercise their option.

Scynexis, which doesn’t yet have a drug on the market, needs the money. The company had $1.4 million in cash as of Dec. 31 and has earmarked $15 million of the proceeds from an IPO to pay down a loan.

Scynexis’ investors are willing to pony up more money, however. Some of the privately held company’s shareholders are interested in purchasing up to $4 million worth of IPO shares and French pharmaceutical company Sanofi is interested in purchasing up to $5 million, according to the filing.

Sanofi owns 6 percent of Scynexis and Scynexis provides research-and-development services in the field of animal health to Merial, the animal health division of Sanofi.

Scynexis would have 15.7 million shares outstanding after an IPO. If it succeeds in going public at $13 per share, its market capitalization – the total value of its outstanding shares – would exceed $200 million.

Scynexis is developing an intravenous drug for treating serious and life-threatening fungal infections, SCY-078, that is years away from seeking regulatory approval. SCY-078 is the product of years of collaboration between the company and pharmaceutical giant Merck, but last year Merck returned the development and commercialization rights to Scynexis.

Scynexis generated $16.9 million in revenue last year from performing R&D services for other companies. Its net loss in 2013 was $30.5 million.

Staff writer David Ranii

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