OXFORD - Copenhagen looks poised to become the focus of European IPO activity in 1998. The post-IPO track record of NeuroSearch A/S in the past 15 months - which has seen the value of NEUS rise threefold - has encouraged both companies and investors alike to try to follow suit. Now there is a queue of Danish and U.S. companies considering flotation on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, and a growing band of institutional investors and banks that would like to help them get there.

"Following the lead of NeuroSearch, the capital market for biotech in Denmark has gotten a life of its own," said Kim Bottkjaer, managing director of corporate finance at the Scandinavian investment bank Carnegie AB. "You only have to go back three years - the biotech capital market was non-existent and very few people thought that it would appear. But now we have more capacity for financing and companies are able to tap into the Danish equity capital market at prices equal to or better than those in the U