Shares of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. Stock Drops Post - IPO

Published: Mar 30, 2012

Boston Business Journal by Julie M. Donnelly, Reporter

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: MACK) , went public Thursday, debuting at $7 per share but falling by 14 percent by the afternoon. The Cambridge, Mass-based company announced it would delay its IPO in February, and earlier this month said it would lower its sights on how much it planned to raise in the IPO, to $100 million from $166 million. The company first filed to go public in July.

The initial offering is 14.3 million shares of its common stock, all sold by Merrimack. The underwriters also have an option for a period of 30 days to purchase up to 2,145,000 additional shares of common stock from Merrimack to cover over-allotments, if any.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering. BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as lead-manager for the offering, and Cowen and Company, LLC and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. are acting as co-managers for the offering.

The company, founded in 2000, is initially focused on cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, and has five potential therapies in its pipeline. The company has a partnership with French drug maker Sanofi (NYSE: SNY).

Its lead product is a potential treatment for pancreatic cancer which the company licensed from a Taiwanese firm this past May.

The company raised $77 million in a seventh round of venture funding in April 2011, bringing its total venture investment to about $175 million. Backers include Credit Suisse First Boston Next Fund Inc., Crocker Ventures, Jennison Associates LLC, TPG-Axon Capital and WT Investment Advisors Fund L.P.

Merrimack’s IPO is the second this year for a Massachusetts biotechnology company. Verastem (Nasdaq: VSTM) went public on Jan 27 at $11.00 and closed up 9 cents on its first day. Since then, however, Verastem has fallen below its IPO price, closing March 28 AT $10.85.

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