initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Friday, October 6, 2017

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals (RYTM) started trading on the Nasdaq on 5 October 2017

  • Founded: 2008
  • Lead drug candidate : setmelanotide, for two rare genetic diseases, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) deficiency obesity and Prader-Willi syndrome, that cause life-threatening obesity.

A 9-year-old biotech company headquartered in Boston’s Back Bay, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals Inc. has become the fourth local drugmaker to go public this year, raising $120 million in an upsized public offering.

Rhythm, which has 15 employees based in a 6,830-square-foot office at 500 Boylston St., sold 7 million shares for $17 each, beating the range it floated in a federal filing just a couple weeks ago of $14-$16. It’s the second-biggest IPO for a Boston-area biotech in what’s so far a slow year, with only Cambridge-based Akcea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: AKCA) raising more, with a $144 million IPO in July.

Before that, just two other local companies had gone public in June: Cambridge cancer drug developers Mersana Therapeutics (Nasdaq: MRSN) and Aileron Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ALRN). While Mersana raised the $75 million it had planned on, Aileron’s raise was cut to $56.

Rhythm will begin trading today on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker, “RYTM.”

The company is developing a drug called setmelanotide, a so-called MC4R agonist peptide that’s meant to be injected daily to regulate the body’s energy balance and appetite. The company is testing it as a treatment for extremely rare metabolic disorders called POMC deficiency obesity and LepR deficiency obesity. Last year, the company reported positive data from a single patient in a trial of the drug.

The company said it had just $17 million in cash as of June 30. Last year it spent about $26 million, more than three-quarters of which went to research.

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