Minnesota has another publicly traded biotechnology company.
Plymouth-based Celcuity Inc. priced its initial public offering Tuesday night and saw a successful first day of trading Wednesday, when its shares rose 50 percent. The IPO was priced at $9.50 a share with the expectation of raising $26.2 million.
Shares, trading under the symbol CELC, closed Wednesday at $14.29. They had settled down some by Friday but still closed the day at $13.63, up 43.5 percent from the initial offering price.
Celcuity is the third Minnesota company to complete an IPO in 2017. The other two were ASV Holdings Inc., a maker of compact track loaders and skid steer loaders based in Grand Rapids, and Calyxt, a gene-editing company based in New Brighton. ASV raised $26.6 million in its offering, and Calyxt raised about $56 million.
Celcuity is a cellular analysis company whose diagnostic platform uses a patient’s living tumor cells to identify cancer subtypes. The diagnostic tests are designed to find more targeted therapies that can significantly improve cancer patient outcomes.
Celcuity had upsized the offering by selling 2.4 million shares; an overallotment of 360,000 additional shares raised the total shares offered to 2.76 million shares.
Proceeds of the offering will support research and development activities, clinical trials, development of operational processes and general corporate purposes. According the company’s latest offering statement, proceeds should be sufficient to meet the company’s cash requirements for the next 24 months.
The company believes its CELx platform has two important improvements over traditional molecular tests. First, by using live tumor cells in the process it can measure real-time cell signaling activities. Second, the CELx tests directly measure the effectiveness of a targeted therapy.
The development stage company has 15 employees but has not generated any revenue and had a net loss of $2.8 million in the first half of 2017.
Celcuity was co-founded by Lance Laing and Brian Sullivan in 2012. Laing, the company’s chief science officer, is a drug discovery research specialist with 17 patents to his credit and 24 patents pending.
Sullivan, the company’s chairman and CEO, is a veteran of growing and selling previous Minnesota companies. Sullivan was CEO of Brooklyn Center-based Recovery Engineering, a publicly held portable water filtration company, which sold to Procter & Gamble Co. in 1999 for $265 million.
He was also CEO of Maple Grove-based Sterilmed, which sold reprocessed medical devices and small equipment repair services to health care providers. Sullivan sold Sterilmed in 2011 to a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Terms of that deal were not disclosed but the purchase price was estimated to be around $350 million. Sullivan told the Star Tribune at that time that he planned to start another company.
Sullivan has also had interests in politics; he ran for governor in 2002 but lost the Republican Party endorsement to Tim Pawlenty.
Minneapolis-based Craig-Hallum Capital Group was the sole underwriter of the offering.