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Oxagen Seeks $42 Million in Private Placement, Mulls IPO

NEW YORK, Sept.18 - Genomic drug target discovery company Oxagen of Milton Park, UK is seeking to raise as much 30 million pounds ($42 million) in private financing and is considering an initial public offering for 2001, Reuters reported Monday.

If successful, Oxagen would be the latest in a string of European genomics companies to raise money through private placements and public share offerings.

According to Reuters, Oxagen has not yet selected a market for an IPO.

A spokeswoman for Oxagen confirmed the story but declined to offer any details. She said an announcement on the private funding round was likely before the end of October.

CEO Trevor Nicholls could not be reached immediately for comment.

Formed in 1997, Oxagen sells its proprietary collections of family samples and data it uses to identify and validate disease-causing genes to pharmaceutical companies. The company has partnered with AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) for the discovery and validation of cardiovascular disease targets.

European genomics companies, like their American counterparts, have recently received a warm reception by capital markets and venture capitalists. Last week, gene-based drug target company Ingenium of Martinsried, Germany said it completed a 50 million Euro ($43 million) private placement.

And European companies such as Gemini Genomics (Nasdaq: GMNI) of Cambridge, UK, deCode Genetics (Nasdaq: DCGN) of Reykjavic, Iceland, and Lion BioScience ( Neuer Markt: LIO; Nasdaq: LEON ) of Heidelberg, Germany have recently issued shares.  

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