July 10, 2020 / 4:43 PM / in a month

Biotech firm Nkarta's shares more than treble in U.S. debut

(Reuters) - Shares of Nkarta Inc NKTX.O more than tripled in value in their U.S. market debut, giving the biotech firm a valuation of $1.61 billion.

Nkarta’s robust debut continues the recent trend of a rebound in U.S. investor demand for new listings, after the COVID-19 pandemic had slammed the brakes on market listings.

The company’s shares opened at $54.75 and rose to as much as $58.69 in early trade.

Earlier in the day, Nkarta raised $252 million after selling 14 million shares at $18 apiece. The firm had marketed a price range of $16-$17 for its offering.

Nkarta focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of cell therapies based on natural killer cells to treat cancer. (bit.ly/3fiVMim)

The company reported a net loss of $21.1 million in 2019, compared with a net loss of $274,503, a year earlier.

Nkarta said in a filing it would use part of the IPO proceeds to fund its internal discovery research, process development, manufacturing and clinical activities.

Cowen, Evercore ISI, Stifel and Mizuho Securities were the joint underwriters for the IPO.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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