Ebb & Flow

NASDAQ was pitching an IPO shutout for January until Exact(EXAS) hit a single on the last day of the month. The cancer diagnostic company raised $56 million through the sale of 4 million shares at $14 underwritten by Merrill Lynch; CIBC World Markets; and Thomas Weisel. The company, which uses genomics to develop cancer diagnostics, priced at the bottom of its range, after originally filing to raise up to $69 million on Oct. 27. Friday's close of $14.375 values the company at $268.8 million.

Biotech shouldn't feel slighted, as only three IPOs priced on NASDAQ last month: Peet's Coffee & Tea and orthodonture play Align Technology.

Indeed, global fundraising by the sector totaled $691 million in January, compared to $1.7 billion in January 2000. February has started with a bang, however, as Aviron (AVIR) raised $400 million in two deals on Friday - $200 million in a follow-on plus $200 million in a convert deal, and both deals were bumped up. On Jan. 12, AVIR filed to sell 3 million shares in the follow-on,

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