Ambit Slices Price of IPO, Increases Number of Shares Offered

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego’s Ambit Biosciences cut the share price of its planned IPO by nearly half yesterday, but still managed to raise about $65 million by increasing the number of shares in its debut offering. Shares of the biopharmaceutical company began trading this morning on the Nasdaq under the symbol AMBI.

The company, with a lead drug candidate under development for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML), adjusted its IPO to offer 8.1 million shares at $8 a share, according to an amended IPO filing yesterday. Ambit had planned to offer 4.6 million shares at a price between $13 and $15 per share, according to previous filings.

The company granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1.2 million additional shares to cover any over-allotments. Ambit also had plans to raise an additional $25 million from a concurrent private placement.

Ambit was founded in 2000, and has focused on discovering and developing molecules that block the cellular pathway for certain kinases—enzymes that activate cellular functions. Some kinases have been identified as key drivers of cancer, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases. Ambit’s lead drug candidate, quizartinib (AC220), is a once-daily, orally-administered, potent and selective inhibitor of FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) and is under clinical development for patients with an aggressive form of AML.