SAN DIEGO-Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., a local biopharmaceutical company focused on neurological and endocrine diseases and disorders, has disposed of its real estate assets in a $108 million sale-leaseback. The deal is set to close before year’s end.

The buyer and seller were not immediately available for comment, but a public filing by Neurocrine reveals that the firm will sign a 10-year lease to stay in the properties, including its 94,000-sf headquarters property located at 10555 Science Center Dr. Company documents reveal Neurocrine “will receive cash of approximately $60 million net of fees, expenses and existing indebtedness.”

The initial agreement provides options for Neurocrine to repurchase all of the properties. In a released statement, company CFO Timothy P. Coughlin said owning the properties had been a “profitable strategy for the company and our shareholders.” He added that the sale would allow the firm to improve its financial position … (providing) us with the financial flexibility to advance our clinical and research programs and build equity in our pipeline.”

It was a busy day for the firm as it released its Q3 results. The company reported a net loss of $27.2 million, or $0.72 loss per share compared to net loss of $39.1 million, or $1.03 loss per share, for the same period last year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2007, the company reported a net loss of $79.3 million, or $2.09 loss per share compared to net loss of $92.5 million, or $2.46 loss per share, for the same period in 2006. Company officials said, “the decrease in revenues for the three- and nine-month periods is primarily due to the cancellation of our collaboration agreement with Pfizer.”

Neurocrine also announced an exclusive licensing agreement for the development and commercialization of indiplon (an insomnia drug) in Japan with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co Ltd. (DSP). The terms include an initial $20 million to Neurocrine with another $10 million payout upon FDA approval of the drug.

Coughlin said the immediate infusion of $80 million from the sale-leaseback and DSP agreement will bring Neurocrine’s “projected year-end cash balances to near beginning of the year levels.”

In after hours trading, shares of Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) gained $0.25, or 2.7%, to $9.50. The 52-week range for NBIX is $7.51 to $14.88.

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