Just four months after closing its initial public offering, VicalInc. returned to the public market and grossed about $14million in a secondary offering that closed on Thursday.

Vical (NASDAQ:VICL) of San Diego hoped to net $17 million ifthe 2 million shares were sold at $9.25 each, the price its stockclosed at when the gene therapy company filed for the offeringon July 2.

However, the closing price dipped to $7.50 a share on Tuesday,when 378,000 shares -- about 10 times the normal volume --traded hands. The offering closed at $7 a share, $2 more thanthe IPO price of $5.

The follow-on offering came shortly after the IPO wascompleted on March 9 because of additional demand for sharesthat could not be obtained in the light public trading.

After the offering, Vical has 12.2 million shares outstanding.Underwriters' options for 300,000 additional shares have notyet been exercised, a spokesman for Vector SecuritiesInternational Inc. said. Hambrecht & Quist also managed theoffering.

Vical, which announced in May that Merck & Co. Inc. extendeda vaccine collaboration for $1.25 million, should now havesufficient funds to operate through mid-1995. The moneyraised in this offering will be used for research anddevelopment, including preclinical and clinical studies.

Vical is assisting University of Michigan professor Gary Nabelon a cationicliposome vector to deliver a mutant viralreplication gene in an approach to HIV infection that receivedapproval in June from the Recombinant DNA AdvisoryCommittee (RAC) of the National Institutes of Health.

The company has also made scientific news in publishingresults of its experiments in inoculating mice against influenzaby injecting them with "naked" DNA encoding viral genes.

Vical's stock closed at $7.13 a share on Thursday, off 75 cents.

-- Nancy Garcia Associate Editor

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