By Lisa Seachrist

Washington Editor

Braving a tumultuous market, ViroLogic Inc. raised $35 million with its initial public offering of common stock.

The South San Francisco-based company sold 5 million shares at $7 per share. When ViroLogic announced the offering in February, the prospectus indicated the company intended to raise $70 million with the offering, but did not detail the number of shares or the price per share. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 24, 2000, p. 1.)

CIBC World Markets Corp., of New York, was the lead manager for the offering, with ING Barings LLC and Prudential Vector Healthcare Group, both also of New York, serving as co-managers. The underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to 750,000 additional shares of common stock to cover any overallotments. If they exercise that option in full, the value of the offering will increase by $5.25 million.

The company declined to comment due to a quiet period imposed by the SEC.

Focusing on developing products to improve the treatment of viral diseases, ViroLogic intends to use the proceeds for sales and marketing efforts, and for capital expenditures, including the expansion of clinical laboratory capabilities.

PhenoSense, one of the company's major product platforms, is a drug-resistance technology that directly measures the susceptibility of a virus to antiviral drugs -by determining whether the virus replicates in the presence of various antivirals. The technology eliminates the need for culturing virus. ViroLogic's first marketed product, PhenoSense HIV, is a patented drug-resistance test that measures the resistance of HIV to all approved HIV drugs.

In addition to PhenoSense HIV, ViroLogic is developing PhenoSense HBV and PhenoSense HCV to test for drug- resistance patterns in hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections.

The company is also selling GeneSeq HIV, a genotypic test identifying mutations associated with drug resistance. ViroLogic is developing a test to measure viral fitness, a measure of a virus's ability to reproduce and infect new cells.

Following through to physician decision-making, the company is developing the Therapy Guidance System to help doctors select optimal therapies for their patients. The system is a proprietary database of test results and other patient information combined with data mining and outcomes modeling software.

ViroLogic's stock (NASDAQ:VLGC) closed Tuesday at $7.312, up 31 cents.

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