Freshly minted shares of Anthera Pharmaceuticals (ANTH) sold for just half their original target price during the company's March 1 IPO, raising merely $42 million instead of the anticipated $70 million. Concurrently, the company completed a private placement of about 2.6 million shares, raising an additional $17.1 million, for a total of approximately $53.8 million.
Anthera, which focuses on inflammation-associated diseases, also gave a little more than 500,000 shares to Eli Lilly (LLY) and Shionogi and Co. (SGIOF.PK) to pay down a $3.5 million milestone payment for the initiation of a trial for its lead drug, A-002, a treatment for acute coronary syndrome.
Not surprisingly, the $7 per share IPO was delayed and disappointing for optimists hoping the development-stage biopharmaceutical would light the way to a shining 2010 full of lucrative offerings with fellow IPO adventurer Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD).
Ironwood fared little better. Its shares went for $11.25 a piece, well below the company's $14 to $16 target and nearly half were sold to its top private investor, Morgan Stanley (MS).
Anthera's shares have clung fairly close to their original price since their open, falling as low as $6.90 and rising as high as $7.39, but they have consistently closed within a nickel of $7.10 during the first four days of trading.