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Human Genome offering priced at $12 a share


NEW YORK -- Human Genome Sciences Inc.'s initial offering of 2.25 million common shares was priced at $12 a share yesterday by underwriters led by Lehman Bros.

The Rockville-based company had expected the shares to be offered between $10 and $12.

The company, a gene-sequencing specialist that seeks to use newly discovered information about the human genome to produce commercial health care products, is one of the first ventures created in the wake of the human genome project. The project is an international campaign begun in 1990 to identify the estimated 100,000 genes contained in the chromosomes of every human cell.

The company is associated with The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) of Gaithersburg, a not-for-profit company formed by Dr. J. Craig Venter, a scientist formerly at the National Institutes of Health. In exchange for providing TIGR with about $85 million in funding over 10 years, Human Genome acquired rights to inventions and patents arising from TIGR's research.

The company said it plans to use the offering for working capital and general corporate purposes.

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