The good news for Vital Therapies Inc. is that the company managed to eke out its initial public offering (IPO) despite the recent selloff in biotechnology stocks. The bad news is that Vital, like two other April graduates, slashed its price to get out the door. The San Diego-based firm raised $54 million, with most of the proceeds slated to fund late-stage trials of Elad, its human cell-based bio-artificial liver system.
The offering included 4.5 million shares at $12 apiece, falling below an already downsized range of $13 to $15 the company set in an April 7 prospectus. Vital originally filed in October 2013, seeking to raise up to $86 million by offering 4.4 million shares in a range that subsequently was set at $16 to $18. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 15, 2013.)
At the time, analyst Adam Cutler, managing director at The Trout Group LLC, warned presciently that the protracted IPO window was being fueled by generalists with scant