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Sequenom Launches $84M Public Stock Offering

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom has launched a common stock offering of 14 million shares priced at $6 per share.

The firm said Thursday that it expects gross proceeds of $84 million from the offering. Underwriters of the offering have a 30-day option to purchase up to an aggregate of 2,100,000 additional shares of common stock to cover overallotments.

The offering was expected, as Sequenom officials have said for months that the firm would need to raise additional capital to support ongoing testing and development of its trisomy 21 non-invasive, pre-natal test. The firm provided an updated timeline for the test in September, saying that it is on schedule to launch a laboratory-developed test in the fourth quarter of 2011, and it hopes to file a Premarket Approval application with the US Food and Drug Administration in the second half of 2012.

Sequenom said in the SEC filing that as of Sept. 30, it held cash, cash equivalents and current marketable securities of $55.8 million. "Our announced plans for research and development activities to expand our diagnostic test menu can only be implemented if we are successful in raising significant funds," it said.

In May 2010, Sequenom sold 12,435,000 shares of common stock at a price of $4.15 per share to certain investors in a private placement, raising net proceeds of around $47.8 million.

The firm filed a shelf registration with the SEC in September providing for the sale of up to $150 million of equity and debt securities from time to time in one or more transactions.

Jefferies & Company is sole book-running manager for the offering, and Lazard Capital Markets and Piper Jaffray are co-managers for the offering.

In early Thursday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Sequenom were down 5 percent at $6.50.

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