By Mary Welch

Large Scale Biology Corp., a company that focuses on proteomics and functional genomics, filed an initial public offering to raise $100 million.

The company intends to use the proceeds for research and development purposes. JP Morgan Co., of New York, is the lead underwriter. Chase H&Q, of New York, and William Blair LLC & Co., of Chicago, are co-managers. There was no indication in the filing how many shares will be offered, at what price range, or if an overallotment option would be offered to the underwriters.

The net proceeds, along with other revenues, will be adequate to fund anticipated operations for at least the next 12 months, the filing statement said.

The Vacaville, Calif.-based company has two key technologies, ProGEx and Geneware. These technologies can enable the transformation of proteomic and genomic information into multiple product opportunities, such as drug targets, therapeutics, diagnostics and the evaluation of drug effectiveness and toxicity, the company said in the registration statement.

The ProGEx system can rapidly identify changes in proteins that are associated with diseases or with a therapeutic's effects. The company uses its ProGEx system to develop a number of databases, including the Human Protein Index, which offers detailed protein composition of all normal human tissues and cells; Molecular Anatomy and Pathology, which describes the changes in protein composition associated with disease; and Molecular Effects of Drugs, a database that describes changes in protein composition associated with the administration of therapeutics and other treatments.

Geneware is an automated technology for rapidly inserting genes into host organisms for novel gene discovery and gene function analysis. The company intends to apply this technology to efficiently produce human therapeutic and other commercially useful proteins, the company said.

The company has seven ongoing research and technology development programs and collaborations under way. In 1998, it signed a three-year contract with the Dow Chemical Co., of Midland, Mich., for the exclusive use of the Geneware technology for development of functional genomics in selected agricultural and industrial chemical categories. Revenues from this collaboration reached $14.2 million in 1999, and Dow owns slightly more than 10 percent of the company.

Overall, the company generated $16.1 million in revenues from collaborations last year. The company posted a net loss for 1999 of $27.9 million. As of Dec. 31, the company had $6.9 million in cash.

Large Scale Biology's intended NASDAQ listing ticker symbol is LSBC.

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