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Big First-Day Pop for Global Blood Therapeutics IPO

A biopharmaceutical company working on developing and commercializing treatments for serious blood-based disorders priced its initial public offering (IPO) above the expected range Tuesday and has doubled that higher price since beginning trading Wednesday morning. Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: GBT) priced 6 million shares at $20 per share, above the expected range of $16 to $18, raising gross proceeds of $120 million.

Shares traded as high as $43.48 in early afternoon trading after opening at $34.65, more than 70% higher than the already beefy IPO price. Joint bookrunners for the offering are Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Co-managers are Cowen and Wedbush PacGrow. The underwriters have a 30-day option on an additional 900,000 shares.

The company had raised about $100 million in funding prior to its IPO. Third Rock Ventures held 50.2% of the company and Fidelity held 10.5%. Other investors included Deerfield Capital Management, Sabby Capital Management and Wellington Management.

The company’s first product candidate is a prophylactic treatment for sickle cell disease, and Global Blood Therapeutics plans to use about $65 million to complete development and trials of its sickle cell disease treatment and another $15 million or so to begin trials of an oral treatment for hereditary angioedema. The remaining proceeds to fund new and ongoing research and development activities, working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include funding for the hiring of additional personnel, capital expenditures and the costs of operating as a public company.

Shares traded at around $42.45 in the mid-afternoon, in an IPO range of $33.06 to $43.48.

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By Paul Ausick