Shaping Life In the Lab


And profiting from gene splicing

The whole affair left Wall Street slightly dazed. Within minutes, the new stock leaped from its offering price of $35 a share to $89. As thousands of buyers bid for a piece of the action, brokerage houses had to resort to strict rationing. When a Beverly Hills matron demanded 100 shares, her broker apologetically explained that he could give her only two.

Such was the speculative fever when an obscure company named Genentech came to the over-the-counter market with a $36 million stock offering last fall. Veteran traders had...

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