Coppell-based ZS Pharma fared even better than expected in its Wall Street debut on Wednesday, raising $107 million from the sale of 5.9 million shares, priced nearly 58 percent above its opening stock price, in the first Texas biotech Initial Public Offering in more than a decade. ZS Pharma is developing a therapy for hyperkalemia, a chronic kidney disease affecting more than 26 million Americans that is characterized by abnormally high levels of potassium.
Trading opened at an $18 share price, above the initial range of $15 to $17. The stock closed the trading session at $28.38 a share, reflecting robust demand on the street with the total number of shares sold more than 900,000 above target. ZS announced their public offering last month noting that proceeds will be used to finance ongoing pipeline research, manufacturing and marketing.
Co-founders, Dr. Al Guillem, President, and Dr. Jeff Keyser, Chief Operating Officer, began their careers in the pharmaceutical industry with Adams Laboratories in Fort Worth, where they worked on the development the cough drug Mucinex, which went on to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
A Phase II trial concluded in June of 2013 and the company recently presented data from an ongoing Phase III trial at the 74th American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions. ZS is working towards regulatory submissions for ZS-9 to both the FDA and European Medicines Agency in the first half of 2015.
Darlene Boudreaux, Tech Fort Worth Executive Director, noted her satisfaction of seeing the company’s growth and success. “One of the things about ZS Pharma is it’s really exciting for Tech Fort Worth because it’s the first company we have seen going from a start-up to going public. We have watched them go through the stages. We’re really proud of the fact that we helped them get started,” she said.
ZS has notched a number of fundraising successes over the past 4 years starting with a $2 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund in 2010 and followed by subsequent $46 and $55 million capital infusions in 2012 and March of this year respectively. Investors in ZS include Novo A/S, RA Capital, Adage Capital, Sofinnova Ventures, Alta Partners, Devon Park Bioventures, 3×5 Special Opportunity Fund, Salem Partners, and RiverVest.