Affymax N.V. continued its impressive string of fund-raisingefforts on Tuesday by completing an $80 million initial publicoffering.

The developer of drug discovery technologies has raised $146million since its inception in 1988, including the 4 million-share IPO priced at $20 per share. The proposed offering wasincreased by 1 million shares.

The company's stock (NASDAQ:AFMXF) closed Tuesday at$24.75, down 25 cents.

The IPO is the second largest this year, after RegeneronPharmaceuticals Inc.'s $99 million offering in April. The largestbiotech IPO ever was Cetus Corp.'s $120 million offering in1981.

The company raised $25 million from private investors inJanuary 1990 and $26 million from institutional investors lastMay.

Corporate partners Marion Merrell Dow Inc. and Ciba-GeigyCorp. each contributed another $7.5 million in equity this year,with another $7.5 million in research funding promised by eachover the life of the collaborations.

Affymax is developing two complementary technologies tospeed the process of synthesizing and screening large numbersof compounds: very large scale immobilized polymer synthesis(VLSIPS) and recombinant peptide diversity (RPD).

VLSIPS uses light to direct the building of chemical structureson the surface of a glass chip. The chip is covered with linkermolecules with chemical groups to which amino acids can bind.

RPD uses a biological system to achieve a similar end. "If wedon't have a lead, RPD is our initial approach," John Diekman,president and chief operating officer, told BioWorld.

Affymax is using the technologies to develop new drugs andmodify existing drugs for inflammatory, cardiovascular,endocrine and autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Affymax, which is headquartered in Amsterdam, theNetherlands, conducts research and development primarily atits wholly owned subsidiary, Affymax Research Institute, inPalo Alto, Calif.

Underwriters Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Alex. Brown & Sons Inc.have a 600,000-share overallotment option. -- Karen Bernstein

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