Moderna Enters the Market Very Quietly for Largest Biotech IPO

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Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) entered the market quietly on Friday after it priced what is being called the biggest biotech initial public offering to date. Shares were priced at $23 apiece, in the middle of the expected range of $22 to $24. However, they actually entered the market slightly lower at $22.

The company offered 26.28 million shares, with an overallotment option for an additional 3.94 million shares. And at the $23 price, the entire offering was valued up to roughly $695 million. The company as a whole is valued at around $7.5 billion as a result.

The underwriters for the offering are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Piper Jaffray, Oddo BHF, Oppenheimer, Needham and Chardan.

This company is creating a new category of transformative medicines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) to improve the lives of its patients. From the beginning, this firm has designed its strategy and operations to realize the full potential value and impact of mRNA over a long time horizon across a broad array of human diseases.

Since management nominated its first program in late 2014, the firm has advanced in parallel a diverse development pipeline of 21 programs, of which 10 have entered clinical studies and another three have open INDs. These therapeutic and vaccine development programs span infectious diseases, oncology, cardiovascular diseases and rare genetic diseases.

As of September 30, 2018, the firm had raised over $2.6 billion in total funding from its strategic collaborators and investors, and it has cash, cash equivalents and investments of $1.2 billion.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to further develop its pipeline, as well as for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Shares of Moderna were last seen down about 6% at $21.65, within a range of $21.31 to $22.39 on the day thus far. About 5 million shares had moved as of 12:15 p.m. Eastern.