NEW YORK—Biotechnology companies that had been on the verge of going public are adjusting to the post-Black Monday shortage of public capital without the major layoffs and cutbacks that some analysts had predicted.

Because such companies tend to be small, with heavy research investments and few proven products, some analysts saw them as particularly vulnerable to takeovers and restructurings in their search for cash. But for at least two firms that scuttled their plans for initial public stock sales in late October, the blow from Wall Street was not devastating.

After Applied ImmuneSciences Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., canceled its stock offering it did slow hiring. According to AIS founder and chief scientist Tom Okarma, the four year-old company had planned to hire 10 researchers this year but now has decided to add only three to six.

Hiring plans have not changed, however, at Native Plants Inc., a 15-year-old biotech...

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