UPDATE 2-Anthera IPO closes up 1 cent in Nasdaq debut

Mon Mar 1, 2010 4:26pm EST

* Shares close up 1 cent at $7.01

* Trading on Nasdaq under symbol "ANTH" (Updates with closing share price, adds byline)

By Clare Baldwin

NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - Shares in biopharmaceutical company Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (ANTH.O) closed 1 cent above their initial public offering price on Monday, in a postponed and downsized deal.

Anthera is developing drugs for diseases associated with inflammation including cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. It currently has three drugs in clinical programs.

Shares of the Hayward, California-based company closed at $7.01 on the Nasdaq, a penny above their IPO price. They traded as high as $7.39 and as low as $6.90.

Anthera earlier on Monday sold 6 million shares for $7 each, raising about $42 million. The IPO price and number of shares sold matched new terms the company set on Friday.

It had originally planned to sell 4.61 million shares for $13 to $15 each, which at the midpoint would have raised 35 percent more. The IPO had originally been expected to price and debut last week.

IPOs have struggled with a volatile market and investor uncertainty over the past several months and many deals have been reduced, postponed or canceled.

Anthera has lost money every year since it was formed in September 2004. It said in a regulatory filing that it expects significant and increasing losses in the foreseeable future. As of Dec. 31, Anthera has an accumulated deficit of $65.2 million.

The company said it would use proceeds from the IPO for drug development and general corporate purposes. It said it has licensing agreements with Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N), Shionogi & Co Ltd (4507.T) and Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) and owes them associated milestone and royalty payments.

Major shareholders in Anthera include VantagePoint Venture Partners and Sofinnova Venture Partners. The underwriters were led by Deutsche Bank Securities. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Tim Dobbyn, Gary Hill)

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