MacroGenics shares soar on glittering $80M IPO debut

MacroGenics CEO Scott Koenig

MacroGenics ($MGNX) priced its upsized IPO on the high end of its range today, only to see its shares soar more than 50% on the biotech's debut.

The IPO gives MacroGenics--a 2013 Fierce 15 company--an $80 million shot in the arm, with a $12 million boost to come after the underwriters get a shot at cashing in on their offerings. The sparkling introduction of MacroGenics to Nasdaq marks the latest in a long string of bullish IPOs for the industry, which has seen a number of performers take a star turn.

The IPO marks the 39th biotech IPO of the year, a class that has collectively raised close to $3 billion. Another 9 biotechs are waiting in the wings looking to raise more than a half billion dollars, meanwhile, putting on road shows for investors as others are likely to be inspired to jump into the queue.

The big question on everyone's minds now is how long these stellar IPOs can keep coming before investors are reminded of the extraordinary risks involved in drug development that helped chill the market to drug development for more than 4 years.

MacroGenics plans to spend $50 million of its IPO haul on lead program margetuximab, a Phase II monoclonal antibody the company believes can treat HER2-positive breast cancer. MacroGenics has another $20 million earmarked for MGA271, a Phase I immunotherapy that targets the B7-H3 regulator, which is overexpressed in a variety of solid tumors, the company said.

Things have not always gone smoothly for MacroGenics, as it noted in its S-1. Its ex-partner Eli Lilly ($LLY) dumped a pact on the Type 1 diabetes treatment teplizumab three years ago. Since then, the company has racked up big-name partnerships with Pfizer ($PFE), Gilead ($GILD), Boehringer Ingelheim and others on the strength of its dual affinity retargeting platform.

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