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Sequenom to Sell 5.5M Shares in Public Offering, Plans New MassArray Applications

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom filed a prospectus today with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 5.5 million shares of common stock through the open market.
The San Diego-based firm said that it expects to realize net proceeds of around $73.4 million, assuming an offering price of $14.25 per share, which was its closing price on the Nasdaq on Friday.
The underwriters of the offering have an option to purchase an additional 825,000 shares. If that option is exercised, Sequenom expects net proceeds of roughly $84.5 million.
Joint book-running managers for the offering are Lehman Brothers and UBS, while co-managers for the offering are Leerink Swann, Lazard Capital Markets, Oppenheimer, and Rodman & Renshaw.
Sequenom said that it will use funds raised in the offering to develop diagnostic tests for use on its MassArray system and other platforms, as well as for general corporate purposes. The firm also said it may use proceeds to acquire or invest in other business, “although we have no current plans, commitments or agreements with respect to any acquisition,” as of today.
The MassArray is currently used for fine mapping genotyping and quantitative gene expression applications, and Sequenom has been developing molecular diagnostic products for the platform as well. According to the prospectus, the firm will be targeting several new applications for MassArray this year.
It plans to launch this month its iSEQ Pathogen Typer for rapidly identifying and typing microbes, viruses, and other haploid organisms. During the third quarter of this year, Sequenom also intends to launch a new application for identifying copy number variations and an epigenomics application for the MassArray.
Later this year, the firm expects to launch its Onco-Gene Mutation Panel for identifying patterns of genes that are associated with the development of specific cancers.
Sequenom also has its eye on competing with the newest generation of DNA sequencers. It plans to complete a proof of concept for its optical nanopore sequencing technology, which it licensed in September 2007 from Harvard University and Boston University. The firm said that if the proof of concept is successful it aims to develop a commercial application for the technology as 2010.
In Monday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Sequenom closed down .6 percent at $14.17.

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