Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced Friday completion of its initialpublic offering of 1.85 million units at $8 per unit (and $8.88) thatgrossed $15 million, and netted the Cambridge, Mass., company$13.96 million.The units consist of one share of Ariad common stock and one warrantto purchase one share of common stock at 105 percent of the IPO pricefor five years. Of the units, 1.625 million were sold to the public at $8,and 225,225 units were offered to Genentech Inc. in exchange forgranting the South San Francisco company a right of first negotiationto certain applications of Ariad's gene therapy technology forundisclosed target areas.The Ariad units are listed on NASDAQ under the symbol ARIAZ. Theunits cannot be divided for 180 days. When the units separate intocommon stock and warrants, they will be listed under the symbolsARIA and ARIAW, respectively. D. Blech and Co. Inc. managed theoffering.Ariad announced March 11 that it was filing its registration statementin connection with the proposed offering of 2.75 million units at $9 perunit. It hoped to gross about $24.75 million. It now has about 15.65million shares outstanding.Ariad was formed in 1991 to pursue development of drugs that targetintracellular communication pathways to alter the course of a disease.It has three intracellular program areas: signal transduction, genetranscription and protein trafficking. Also in the area of proteininteractions, but at extracellular sites, Ariad is developing a potentialtherapy for thrombocytopenia.In its signal transduction area, Ariad intends to develop therapies forosteoporosis, immune-related disorders and allergy/asthma, whereresearch is furthest along and much of the company's resources arededicated.In the gene transcription program, Ariad is developing a set of small-molecule drugs, which, in combination with genetically engineeredcells, may represent a novel system for the pharmacologic regulation ofgene therapy. Primary clinical targets include atherosclerosis, diabetes,cancer and certain blood disorders.In the protein trafficking area, the company is developing a class ofcompounds that block the intracellular systems necessary for certainviruses to process proteins needed for viral replication. Viral diseasesand certain cancers are primary targets.

-- Jim Shrine

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