Genome Therapeutics on Wednesday registered for a proposedpublic offering of 2 million shares of common stock.

The offering would net the Waltham, Mass., company about $17.6million if the shares were sold at Wednesday's closing price of $8.78,which was up 50 cents on the day. New York-based underwriterOppenheimer & Co. Inc. has an overallotment option on another300,000 shares.

The company, which is discovering and characterizing human genesand genes of infectious organisms, reported about $8 million in cashand equivalents on Nov. 25, 1995, the end of its first quarter. Thecompany reported a net profit of $585,000 in 1995 and said it intendsto be profitable this year.

Genome Therapeutics would have 15.7 million shares outstanding if2 million shares are sold in this offering.

Some of the proceeds from the offering are earmarked foracceleration of programs related to the discovery of human genes,particularly those involved in prostate cancer, manic depression andschizophrenia.

In December 1994 the company announced that it had completedsequencing of the entire Helicobacter pylori genome. Thataccomplishment led to a September 1995 collaboration with AstraAB, of Sodertalje, Sweden, worth up to $22 million. Astra will usethe gene sequence information to research ways of detecting andfighting the bacteria, which causes peptic ulcers and gastritis.

Last month Genome Therapeutics signed another collaborationrelated to its genomics technology and disease-causing pathogens.Specific targets in the $43.5 million deal with Schering-PloughCorp., of Madison, N.J., were not disclosed. _ Jim Shrine

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.