The Palo Alto-based company, which some regarded as a potential bellwether for companies specializing in the technology of very small materials, had initially planned to offer its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
"Based on adverse market conditions, Nanosys has determined that it is not advisable to proceed with the proposed offering," the company said in a brief statement.
The company's executive chairman, Larry Bock, confirmed the withdrawal but declined to comment further, citing securities regulations.
The 43-employee company specializes in developing technology using materials about 1/100,000th the diameter of a hair. It's developed a strong team of partners, including Intel Corp., Matsushita, and DuPont as well as the CIA's venture-capital company, In-Q-Tel.
But the company's financials, as reported in its regulatory filings, drew comparisons with stock offerings in the dot-com boom where investors bet big on unproven companies. Nanosys said it has accumulated about $25.8 million in losses since its founding and the red ink would continue to flow for the "foreseeable future." It also reported a loss of $8.78 million on revenue of $2.5 million for the six months ending June 30.
The company, which planned to offer 6.25 million common shares to the public, had estimated they would sell for between $15 and $17 each.