Ra Pharmaceuticals IPO Off to a Strong Start

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Ra Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RARX) had a very strong entrance to the market on Wednesday after it priced its IPO at $13 per share, in the middle of its expected price range of $12 to $14 per share. However, the stock actually entered the market at $14.16. There are 5.8 million shares being offering with an overallotment option for an additional 870,000 shares. At the $13 price point, the entire offering is value at $86.71 million.

The underwriters for the offering are Credit Suisse, Jefferies, BMO Capital Markets and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

This clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company uses its proprietary peptide chemistry platform to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of serious diseases that are caused by excessive or uncontrolled activation of the complement system, a critical component of the immune system. Inappropriate activation of the complement system can quickly turn it from a beneficial defense system to an aggressor that plays a major role in immune and inflammatory diseases.

The company is developing its lead product candidate, RA101495, a convenient self-administered subcutaneous 9SC) injection, which is an injection into the tissue under the skin, for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).

For some background: PNH is a rare, chronic, life-threatening, blood disorder in which red blood cells are mistakenly attacked and destroyed by the complement system.

Ra Pharma expects to initiate its Phase 2 clinical program for RA101495 in PNH patients in the first quarter of 2017 and release data in the second half of 2017. The company is also developing RA101495, administered SC, to treat other debilitating complement-mediated diseases such as refractory generalized myasthenia gravis (rMG), and lupus nephritis (LN). It expects to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial with RA101495 for rMG and a Phase 1b clinical trial in LN in the second half of 2017.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to fund the clinical development of RA101495, with the remainder going toward working capital and general corporate purposes.

Shares of Ra were last seen up about 11.5% at $14.50, with a trading range on the day of $13.31 to $14.86 as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern. So far nearly 2.5 million shares have moved on the day as well.