Cortech Inc. has decided to brave the markets forbiotechnology stocks by filing for a secondary stock offering.

The Denver company announced Monday that it has filed aregistration statement with the Securities and ExchangeCommission (SEC) for a public offering of 2 million shares ofcommon stock (NASDAQ:CRTQ). Underwriters MontgomerySecurities and Hambrecht & Quist Inc. have an option topurchase up to an additional 300,000 shares to cover anyoverallotments.

Cortech, which is developing drugs to treat a broad range ofinflammatory and immune disorders, grossed $32 million in itsinitial public offering (IPO) in November 1992. This is the firsttime the company has sought funds from either public orprivate sources since then.

As of June 30, Cortech had $34.6 million in cash and short-terminvestments and slightly more than 14 million sharesoutstanding, according to Joseph Turner, the biopharmaceuticalcompany's chief financial officer. The stock lost $1.13 per shareon Monday, closing at $15.63.

Although the public markets are still chilly for biotechnology,at least they aren't frozen solid; two companies have actuallycompleted initial public offerings this month. InnovirLaboratories Inc. of New York reaped $9.4 million in an IPOit completed on Sept. 14, and Neurex Corp. grossed $16.5million on the long-awaited close of its IPO on Sept. 24.

Moreover, one company has gone on to complete a secondaryoffering in September. Embrex Inc. (NASDAQ:EMBX) of ResearchTriangle Park, N.C., announced on Sept. 3 that it had netted $10.8million from its secondary. And another company, InSite VisionInc. of Alameda, Calif., on Sept. 16 filed for an IPO of 3 millionshares at $10 to $12 each.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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