By Randall Osborne

West Coast Editor

Ciphergen Biosystems Inc. tipped the scale just over its estimated initial public offering, raising $88 million by selling 5.5 million shares at $16 each - and the shares (NASDAQ:CIPH) promptly took off, doubling to close Friday at $32, up $16.

The Fremont, Calif.-based protein discovery firm had aimed to raise $86.25 million by selling 5 million shares at $14 to $16 per share.

SG Cowen Securities Corp., of New York, is the lead underwriter, with ING Barings LLC and Warburg Dillon Read LLC, both of New York, serving as co-underwriters. They have been offered an option to buy 750,000 shares as overallotments. Ciphergen has 25.13 million shares outstanding.

The company aims to use the proceeds for research and development, including establishment of Biomarker Discovery Centers for marketing products and technology including The ProteinChip System, a miniaturized proteomics platform that consists of disposable ProteinChip Arrays, a ProteinChip Reader and ProteinChip software.

Ciphergen said it also will spend the IPO money on expansion of facilities and expansion of sales and marketing capabilities, and for general corporate purposes, including working capital.

The day before disclosing its plan for the IPO, Ciphergen raised $28.6 million in a Series E financing aimed at helping expand the sales and marketing of the ProteinChip System. The company sold 10.4 million shares to both new and existing investors. (See BioWorld Today, March 20, 2000, p. 1; and March 21, 2000, p. 1.)

ProteinChip is based on the surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization technology, which lets researchers capture, separate and quantitatively analyze proteins directly on-chip.

Founded in 1993, Ciphergen posted a net loss of $9.2 million on revenue of $3.6 million for the six months ended June 30, with $24.02 million in cash on hand at the end of that period.

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