The Palo Alto, California-based company sold 7.5 million shares at $15 each, above the anticipated $12 to $14 range set by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, which handled the transaction.
The sale represented a 24-percent stake and gave the company a market value of $476.6 million. The share price was initially $9 to $11, and the increase indicates strong investor demand.
Chemdex operates a Web site with a search engine that helps users purchase life sciences research products, such as laboratory chemicals, enzymes, and equipment from a database of about 225,000 products, from about 110 suppliers.
The market for purchasing life sciences research products was $9.4 billion last year, the company said.
Chemdex will trade under the symbol "CMDX." BancBoston Robertson Stephens and Volpe Brown Whelan assisted in the sale.
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