Orchid BioSciences Inc. raised $23 million through the public sale of 8 million shares, leaving it with about $16.3 million on its shelf registration.

Orchid, of Princeton, N.J., said it plans to use the proceeds to support sales and marketing activities for its new products, the introduction of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) scoring technology into Orchid’s identity genomics business, the commercialization of Orchid GeneShield’s personalized medicine business, and general corporate purposes.

The shares are being offered through a prospectus supplement pursuant to its effective shelf registration statement, filed in May. At that time, Orchid filed to sell up to $75 million worth of stock, and then conducted a private placement in June that raised nearly $36 million through the sale of about 6 million shares. (See BioWorld Today, May 11, 2001, and June 7, 2001.)

Robertson Stephens Inc., of San Francisco, is underwriting the offering and has an overallotment option on 1.2 million additional shares.

Orchid’s stock (NASDAQ:ORCH) fell 44 cents Thursday, or 14.7 percent, to close at $2.56. As of Sept. 30, Orchid had about $52.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments.

Orchid is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings Feb. 28, but is estimating top-line revenues for the year to be between $28 million and $30 million and an earnings-per-share loss, excluding noncash items, to be between $1.33 and $1.38 per share. For 2002, it is projecting top-line revenues of between $62 million and $65 million for the year and expects a pro forma earnings-per-share loss, excluding noncash charges, to be between 85 cents and 92 cents, using a weighted average of 48.5 million shares outstanding.