TheraSense Raises $114M In IPO

NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Therasense Inc. (Nasdaq:THER - news), a maker of glucose monitoring equipment for diabetics, on Thursday raised $114 million in its initial public offering, lead underwriter U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc. said.

Despite its lack of profits, the Alameda, California-based company managed to sell 6 million shares, or a 16-percent stake, at $19 apiece, the middle price estimates, in a sign of investors' interest for healthcare and for the company's advanced technology. The price gives the company a market value of $722 million, based on 38 million shares outstanding.

Therasense makes a system that enables patients to draw blood from their forearms in a less painful way than current equipment that takes samples from fingertips, the company said.

Therasense plans to use the proceeds to increase its sales through marketing efforts, for research and development and to expand its facilities, it said in its regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Therasense has so far posted increasing losses, but has seen its revenues grow steadily since its inception in 1996. Sales jumped to $25.5 million in the first six months of this year, compared with $5.5 million in all of 2000.