Taking advantage of a favorable investment atmosphereswirling around the biotechnology industry, MyriadGenetics Inc., a genomics company, filed for an initialpublic offering (IPO) Friday hoping to raise about $30million while OncoRx Inc., an anticancer firm, said itcompleted an IPO generating $10 million.

OncoRx, with technology from Yale University in NewHaven, Conn., is developing anticancer and antiviraldrugs and intends to license other oncology products,which it will market with its own sales force.

The New Haven-based OncoRx sold 2.5 million units,which consist of one common share and two warrants fortwo additional shares, one at an exercise price of $5.20and the other for $7. The units were offered at $4 each,raising $10 million for the company.

Myriad Genetics, of Salt Lake City, discovered theBRCA1 breast and ovarian cancer gene in 1994 and isdeveloping a genetic predisposition test, which isexpected to be on the market by the second half of 1996.The company also has pinpointed the chromosomalregion for another hereditary breast cancer gene, BRCA2.

Myriad's gene discovery efforts initially have focused oncancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The company has registered with the Securities andExchange Commission for an initial offering of 2 millionshares at between $15 and $17 per share in an attempt togenerate from $30 million to $34 million. UnderwritersCowen & Co. and UBS Securities Inc., both of NewYork, were granted the option of buying another 300,000shares to cover overallotments.

In the cardiovascular area, Myriad has developed amethod of testing for genetic predisposition tohypertension and has identified the chromosomal regionof a major heart disease gene.

Myriad has collaborations with Eli Lilly and Co., ofIndianapolis, for development of drugs and diagnosticsbased on the BRCA1 gene and with Switzerland-basedCiba-Geigy Ltd. for discovery of genes associated withcardiovascular diseases.

OncoRx's research focuses on four areas: drugs targetingoxygen-depleted cancer cells that are resistant toradiation, alkylating agents that destroy cancer cells,nucleoside analogs that inhibit hepatitis B andribonucleotide reductase inhibitors aimed at preventingcancer cell replication. n

-- Charles Craig

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