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UPDATE: InforMax Shares Climb 32% Following IPO

This story has been updated from a previous version with closing prices, analyst comments.

NEW YORK, Oct 3 – Shares of Informax (Nasdaq: INMX) jumped more than 32 percent in their first day of trading on the Nasdaq Tuesday, making it the second successful bioinformatics offering since last week.

But some analysts said the recent strong performance in the bioinformatics sector might be short-lived.

Informax, of Rockville, Md., raised $80 million in an offering of 5 million shares that sold for $16 each, at the high-end of the anticipated $14-$16 range. The shares closed up 5 1/4 at 21 1/4.

InforMax’s offering came just two days after Genomica’s (Nasdaq: GNOM) IPO, which raised $122.4 million.

But Rob Olan, research analyst at Chase H&Q, said that even though the IPO market is good for bioinformatics companies right now, the positive momentum could be short-lived.

“I think it’s going to get increasingly difficult if the ones that are currently trading continue to trade down,” said Olan, noting that Compugen (Nasdaq: CGEN), Lion Bioscience (Neuer Markt: LIO; Nasdaq: LEON), and Rosetta Inpharmatics (Nasdaq: RSTA) are all trading off their highs.

He added that newly public bioinformatics companies tend to do well for the first week but then have trouble maintaining their gains.

Bear, Stearns was the lead manager for the InforMax offering. US Bancorp Piper Jaffray and Adams, Harkness & Hill were co-managers.

InforMax’s primary products are its Vector NTI desktop suite and GenoMax enterprise platform for networks of linked computers. This software is used to analyze and interpret genomic, proteomic, and other biomolecular data.

The 172-employee company posted revenues of $10 million and a net loss of $1.3 million in 1999.

Amersham Pharmacia Biotech recently invested $10 million in InforMax and also announced a 20-year strategic collaboration to enhance GenoMax. The deal represents the largest collaboration for InforMax to date.

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