Dicerna Shares Triple on First Trading Day, Close at $46

1/30/14Follow @benthefidler

Investors in Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: DRNA) are likely a very happy group today.

Dicerna priced its IPO last night at $15 per share, already eclipsing the $11 to $13 per share range it had set coming into the offering. Shares then began trading at double that figure, $30 per share. By the time trading wrapped up at 4 pm E.T., Dicerna’s stock closed at $46.00, giving it a market capitalization of more than $700 million.

That’s good news for Dicerna’s top shareholders—particularly since this is a rare IPO in which there is no lock-up period. Prior to the offering the company’s biggest stakeholders were Domain Associates (16.8 percent), Skyline Ventures (14.7 percent), Deerfield Management (13.4 percent), RA Capital (13.4 percent), Abingworth Management (10.3 percent), Brookside Capital (9.4 percent), SR One (8.0 percent), and Oxford Biosciences (7.3 percent).

Dicerna raised $90 million in its IPO, not counting the discounts due to its underwriters. That figure will surely increase given those underwriters, Jefferies, Leerink Partners, and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., will likely exercise their 30-day option to buy 900,000 additional shares at the IPO price Dicerna blew past this morning.

Dicerna is one of the companies using engineered RNA molecules to shut down the production of disease-causing proteins and thus hit a disease at its roots—a process called RNA interference, or RNAi. The field has seen its share of ups and downs over the years, but is now riding high once again. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY), for instance, another RNAi drug developer, is currently worth about $86 per share and just got a $700 million investment from Genzyme.

Even so, there still aren’t any RNAi drugs on the market, and Dicerna is years away from getting there. The company won’t run its first clinical trial until sometime later this year.

Ben Fidler is Xconomy's Deputy Biotechnology Editor. You can e-mail him at bfidler@xconomy.com Follow @benthefidler

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