By Mary Welch

Affymetrix Inc. raised $32.5 million to fund capital ventures by selling 1 million shares of common stock to one institutional investor.

The unnamed investor purchased the shares at $32.50 apiece, and Affymetrix said it would file a registration statement covering resales of the shares.

The company, based in Santa Clara, Calif., will use the proceeds for capital expenditures, including expanding its manufacturing capabilities and research and development facilities, as well as for sales and marketing efforts and general operating purposes.

Anne Bowdidge, manager of investor relations, said the company could not release any more details, citing an SEC ¿quiet period.¿

Affymetrix¿s stock (NASDAW:AFFX) closed Tuesday at $37.375, up 87.5 cents.

Affymetrix has three business areas: gene expression profiling, polymorphism analysis and disease management. The company reported 1998 revenues of $52 million, with product sales increasing 377 percent to $22.8 million. For the year, the company reported a net loss of $25.5 million, or $1.11 per diluted share.

As of Dec. 31, Affymetrix had $80.6 million in cash with about 23 million shares outstanding.

Perhaps the company¿s most visible business is its gene expression profiling, which allows companies access to the GeneChip technology platform.

In January, Hoechst Marion Roussel Inc., of Frankfurt, Germany, paid Affymetrix at least $15 million for more than 100,000 GeneChip probe arrays for use in its pharmaceutical programs over the next three years. Under Affymetrix¿s EasyAccess Gold GeneChip arrangement, Hoechst will receive priority service for any standard Affymetrix GeneChip probe arrays that are based on the public databases, as well as any custom GeneChip products based on any gene sequence or database available to Hoechst. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 15, 1999, p. 1.)

Other companies that subscribed to the EasyAccess Gold program are F. Hoffmann-LaRoche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, and American Home Products Corp., of Madison, N.J. Affymetrix has collaborations outside its Gold program with dozens of other companies. Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc., of Collegeville, Pa., and the Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Division of the Warner-Lambert Co., of Morris Plains, N.J., both signed up for the EasyAccess Silver Agreement earlier this year.

In addition to supply and service agreements, Affymetrix has collaborations to commercialize gene expression products and databases using GeneChip technology. In November, Affymetrix expanded its agreement with Human Genome Sciences Inc., of Rockville, Md., to commercialize branded GeneChip probe arrays based on HGSI¿s proprietary sequence database and its database consortium members.

In January, Affymetrix entered into an agreement with Gene Logic Inc. in which the Gaithersburg, Md.- based company will be the first to use Affymetrix¿s GeneChip probe arrays to build large, commercially available gene expression database products.

The GeneChip system consists of disposable DNA probe arrays containing gene sequences on a chip, instruments to process the probe arrays and software to analyze and manage genetic information.

The company¿s first product from the polymorphism analysis business, the HuSNP array, is in beta testing at corporate and academic sites. The business identifies common polymorphisms throughout the human genome,

In this company¿s third business area, disease management, Affymetrix and its partners are developing diagnostic tests and systems that feature the GeneChip technology.