The financial environment for biotechnology companiescontinued to gain momentum in November; altogether,investors poured close to $394 million into public and privatecompanies.

Most of the monies -- nearly $260 million -- were raised in thepublic marketplace, with the remaining $134 million comingfrom pure venture capital plays in emerging companies and theprivate financings of publicly traded companies (the popularPIPE financing vehicle).

Overall, biotechnology investments have improved throughoutthe fall, though no month has come close to January's high forthe year of $520 million ($452 million in public transactionsalone and another $68 million from private sources). The haulfor October was nearly $233 million ($199 million from publicsources, with the remaining $34 million from privates), andSeptember brought in $155 million ($33 million public and$122 private).

Here is a summary of November transactions.

Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)

-- Penederm Inc. (NASDAQ:DERM) raised $22 million (2 millionshares at $11 each) on Nov. 3;

-- Incyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ASE:IPI) garnered a total of$17.25 million from the sale of 2.3 million shares (including theoverallotments, which came in Nov. 12) at $7.50 each;

-- Arris Pharmaceutical Corp. (NASDAQ:ARRS) sold 2.5 millionshares at $7 each, grossing $17.5 million on Nov. 18; and

-- Martek Biosciences Corp. (NASDAQ:MATK) raised $14 millionon Nov. 23 from the sale of 2 million shares at $7.


Seven companies completed follow-on stock offerings:

-- Argus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARGS) grossed $11.25million in its revised offering of 2.5 million shares at $4.50each on Nov. 16;

-- Alpha-Beta Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:ABTI) sold 1.3 millionshares at $30 a share on Nov. 16, grossing $39 million;

-- Cell Genesys Inc. (NASDAQ:CEGE) grossed $38 million on thesale of 2 million shares at $19 each on Nov. 19;

-- Athena Neurosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHN) garnered $27.75million on Nov. 23 when it sold 3 million shares (600,000 ofthem to foreign investors) at $9.25 a share;

-- Bioject Medical Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:BJCT) sold 2.6million shares at $4.50 each on Nov. 2, bringing in $11.75million;

-- Somatogen Inc. (NASDAQ:SMTG) raised $29.75 million on thesale of 3 million shares at $9.75 a share on Nov. 16(simultaneously, the company also placed shares privately withforeign investors; see separate listing below); and

-- Genetic Therapy Inc. (NASDAQ:GTII) grossed $32 million onNov. 18 when it sold 2 million shares at $16 each (certain ofthe company's existing stockholders also sold 200,000 shares inthis offering).

Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE):

-- Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ISIP) placed 2.7 millionshares at $6.50 per share (a 5.5 percent discount to the marketprice) for a total of $17.7 million on Nov. 24;

-- Neoprobe Corp. (NASDAQ:NEOP; NEOPW) placed 550,000units at $12 each (a 9 percent discount to the market) on Nov.23, for a total of $6.6 million;

-- T Cell Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:TCEL) sold 2.8 million shares at$6.35 each (a 12 percent discount) for a gross amount of $18million on Nov. 23;

-- Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CORX) placed 13.75million shares at $1 each with U.S. investors (the discount tomarket ranged between 39 and 47 percent) for $13.75 milliontotal and another 517,884 shares at $1.28 per share in anoffshore transaction for $660,000 on Nov. 9 (the twotransactions grossed $14.41 million);

-- Xoma Corp. (NASDAQ:XOMA) attracted $20 million on Nov.22, but the numbers of shares and warrants (and their price)are yet to be fixed;

--Somatogen Inc. (NASDAQ:SMTG) raised $16.5 million from theplacement of 2 million shares at $8.25 (about a 19 percentdiscount) with foreign investors on Nov. 16; and

-- Univax Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ:UNVX) raised $10.7 millionwhen it sold 1.3 million shares at $8.25 each (a 10 percentdiscount) on Nov. 19.

Other Private Financings:

-- Pharmacopeia Inc. raised $7 million in an initial round ofventure financing on Nov. 29;

-- Aviron attracted $15 million in an initial round of venturefinancing on Nov. 30; and

-- Transkaryotic Therapies Inc. raised $8.1 million fromventure capital and institutional sources on Nov. 9.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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