Feb. 11--Research Triangle Park drug developer NephroGenex priced its initial public offering of stock at $12 a share late Monday, the low end of the company's target range.
At $12 a share, the company would reap about $37.2 million in net proceeds before deducting other expenses. In earlier regulatory filings, NephroGenex had targeted selling its shares at between $12 and $14 per share.
NephroGenex is selling 3.1 million shares, and underwriters have the option to purchase an additional 465,000 shares. The shares are expected to begin trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "NRX" sometime this morning.
NephroGenex continues an unprecedented run for Triangle companies in the public markets. Seven local companies completed IPOs last year, and an eighth, Durham's Argo Therapeutics, went public late last week. Square 1 Bank, a Durham-based financial institution that caters to entrepreneurial companies that aspire to one day go public, is also planning an IPO.
NephorGenex has three employees and seven executive officers. It is developing Pyridorin, an experimental treatment aimed at slowing the progression of a chronic, degenerative disease of the kidneys caused by diabetes called diabetic nephropathy.
About 6 million people suffer from the disease, according to NephroGenex.
The company had originally scheduled its IPO for Friday, but its pricing was delayed after NephroGenex notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that its largest shareholder, New Jersey venture capital firm Care Capital, agreed to purchase an additional $10.4 million worth of shares at its IPO price.
That would push Care Capital's ownership stake to 48.7 percent post-IPO.
The company's SEC filing last week noted that "Care Capital will exert significant influence over us and any action requiring the approval of the holders of our common stock." That makes it "less likely that any other holder of common stock or directors of our business will be likely to affect the way we are managed and could delay or prevent an acquisition of us on terms that other stockholders may desire."
Two of NephroGenex's six-person board of directors are Care Capital partners, including Richard J. Markham, who has been chairman since October. Markham is the former vice chairman and chief operating officer of pharmaceutical giant Aventis.
Bracken: 919-829-4548; Twitter: @brackendavid
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