Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., a drug design company focusingon immunotherapeutics and anti-viral therapies, on Thursdaysaid it has filed for an initial public offering of 3 million sharesof common stock. The offering price is expected to be between$13 and $15 a share.

The Cambridge, Mass., company said 500,000 shares will beoffered outside the United States.

U.S. underwriters Kidder Peabody & Co. Inc., Cowen & Co. andBT Securities Corp. will be able to buy 450,000 additionalshares to cover overallotments.

Vertex said the funds will be used for research anddevelopment, facilities expansion and general corporatepurposes.

The company this month announced that it had determined thethree-dimensional structure of a protein that binds to twowidely used immunosuppressant drugs, a finding that couldlead to improved drugs for autoimmune diseases and to fightorgan transplant rejection.

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