MorphoSys (NMarkt:MORG) didn't disappoint buyers of its $28 million IPO on the Neuer Markt, gaining 43 percent in trading after last Tuesday's offering to close Friday at Eur35.7, a market cap of Eur122.4 million ($132.6 million). The combinatorial biology company, the first German biotech company to float on Frankfurt's exchange for growth stocks, opened at Eur25, the top of its IPO range. According to Nick Woolf of BancBoston Robertson Stephens, the IPO was oversold by 30 percent, with demand coming from Europe, the U.K. and the U.S.

MORG's flotation may prompt others to declare their hands. The next Neuer Markt debutant from the life sciences sector is likely to be Evotec, the ultra high-throughput company, although Peptor, a combinatorial chemistry company based in Israel, is looking seriously at the German high growth exchange. Peptor, which had an aborted attempt at a double NASDAQ/EASDAQ quotation in summer 1997, has established a German subsidiary that could give it some local visibility.

Although the Neuer Markt is part of the EuroNM network, there is no expectation that MORG's flotation will pry open the financing window at the Nouveau Marche. BioVector, the drug delivery technology company, shows no signs of de-icing its frozen IPO, although Ebb and Flow understands that Flamel (FLMLY), the French drug delivery company, is aiming for a Nouveau Marche listing. Nicox, another French drug delivery company, is also looking to float on the exchange during 1999.

In the U.K., Azur Environmental, an environmental monitoring company, has said it wants to go to EASDAQ, while Oxford BioMedica, the British gene therapy company, is looking to move from London's AIM to a more liquid exchange and is currently considering either moving up to the main London list or seeking an EASDAQ quotation.

Ephemeral

(VVUS) surged by $2.625 (120 percent) to $4.813 on 13.7 million shares Monday on the news that it had received U.S. Patent No. 5,877,216 covering the treatment of female sexual dysfunction using topical formulations