Tech: Moderna just priced the biggest IPO in biotech history, valuing the startup at $7.5 billion

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Moderna therapeutics

The biotech Moderna is developing medical treatments based on messenger RNA, though it doesn't have any on the market yet.

  • Moderna Therapeutics, a buzzy startup with a heady private valuation, filed paperwork in November to go public.
  • On Thursday, the biotech priced its initial public offering at $23 a share, valuing the company at about $7.5 billion.
  • Moderna will trade under the ticker MRNA.

One of the highest-valued private companies in biotech is finally going public.

Moderna Therapeutics is expected to start trading Friday, after pricing Thursday at $23 a share. The company is selling roughly 27 million shares, valuing the company at about $7.5 billion. In total, the company is raising $620 million in the offering, making it the biggest initial public offering in biotech history.

Moderna is developing medical treatments based on messenger RNA, and the company is still in the early days of human trials for its treatments, which include cancer treatments as well as a vaccine for cytomegalovirus, or CMV.

In early November, Moderna filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to go public, and it will trade under the ticker MRNA.

Read more: The market for biotech IPOs is red hot — here are the top 10 of 2018

It's been a big year for biotech IPOs. In October, early-stage cancer biotech Allogene became the then-biggest biotech ever. It raised $324 million in an IPO that valued the company at more than $2 billion.

Excluding Moderna, there have been 56 biotech IPOs that have raised a total $5.5 billion in 2018, according to Renaissance Capital. It's the highest total since 2014, when there were 71 biotech IPOs that raised a combined $5.2 billion.

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