Merrimack Pharma stumbles out of the IPO gate

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals ($MACK) had a rough first day of trading Thursday. The Cambridge, MA-based company's shares fell 13.7% from the opening price of $7 per share, giving the developer of cancer drugs a lackluster public debut.

The developer, a 2011 Fierce 15 company, saw its shares fall soon after investors began trading its stock on the Nasdaq. According to MarketWatch, the company had sold 16.7 million shares of common stock in its IPO at $7 per share, below the range of $8 to $10 the company originally sought in its maiden public offering. The company had ditched plans for the bigger IPO before succeeding with the smaller offering this week.

Success can be messy. Merrimack stumbled a bit on its first day of trading, but very few privately held biotechs are able to pull off IPOs in the wintry climate for the deals nowadays. The company has 5 drugs in clinical trials, including an anti-cancer antibody drug dubbed MM-121 in mid-stage development with partner Sanofi ($SNY). That program emerged via Merrimack's discovery platform that involves using computational elements to understand the complexity of diseases.

Merrimack's lead drug is a nanoencapsulated version of the chemo drug irinotecan called MM-398, and part of the reason for the IPO was to fund Phase III development of the drug for treating aggressive pancreatic tumors.  

- check out the MarketWatch article