By Lisa Seachrist

Washington Editor

WASHINGTON — The volatile worldwide securities markets have changed the timing of at least one biotech company's public stock offering.

Genomics company Affymetrix Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., has withdrawn its secondary stock offering of 1.5 million shares, which could have netted the company $61 million.

"We set out to achieve a number of objectives with this offering," said Ed Hurwitz, vice president and chief financial officer of Affymetrix. "In the current environment, it was unlikely that we would have achieved all of those goals. This decision, however, doesn't change our operating plans in any way."

According to the company's prospectus, the proceeds of the offering were to be used to broadly commercialize applications of the company's GeneChip technology for monitoring gene expression and resequencing genes. The company also intended to use some of the money for manufacturing and expansion of research and development facilities.

Hurwitz told BioWorld Today that while raising money was obviously one of the company's primary objectives, Affymetrix ended the third quarter with $85 million in the bank and is not cash-strapped. Instead, he noted the company had hoped to raise its profile.

"We were also hoping to attract a broader base of investors," Hurwitz said. "We wanted to move beyond the 30 or 40 accounts that specialize in health care and medical technology stocks to the 100 or so that consider technology as a whole. However, in the current market environment, investors aren't interested in looking into new ideas."

Hurwitz said that plans for the offering have been put off indefinitely.

Affymetrix's stock (NASDAQ:AFFX) closed Tuesday at $37.312, down $0.563. *

No Comments