SoftBank-backed Neumora valued at $2.51 billion in lukewarm debut

By Jaiveer Shekhawat

(Reuters) -Shares of Neumora Therapeutics, which is backed by Amgen and Japan’s SoftBank, fell in their market debut on Friday, giving the company a market capitalization of $2.51 billion.

The Watertown, Massachusetts-based company debuted at $16.50 per share on the Nasdaq, below the offer price of $17 apiece.

The ongoing surge in listings points to a nascent recovery in the U.S. IPO market amid growing expectations of a pause in interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Neumora, which is developing drugs for brain diseases, raised $250 million by selling 14.7 million shares priced at the mid-point of its previously disclosed range. That gave the IPO a valuation of $2.58 billion.

Neumora’s debut comes a day after Arm Holdings’ strong debut valued the chip designer at more than $60 billion.

RayzeBio and Neumora IPOs could be indicative of healthy investor appetite for biotech listings going into the fall, Renaissance Capital equity research analyst Riley Mullin said.

“Neumora opened up trading slightly below the IPO price, but taken in context with RayzeBio … market sentiment for established, later-stage biotech IPOs appears strong,” Mullin added.

Several companies are scheduled to go public in the coming weeks, including grocery delivery service Instacart, German footwear maker Birkenstock and marketing automation platform Klaviyo.

Neumora said in July it was planning to start the first of its three late-stage U.S. clinical trials for its lead experimental drug to treat clinical depression in the third quarter.

Neumora was founded in 2019 with the backing of venture capital firm Arch Venture Partners, and in 2021 saw Amgen making a $100 million equity investment, giving it the right to develop and sell several of Amgen’s experimental drugs for neurodegenerative illnesses on a global scale.

(Reporting by Jaiveer Shekhawat and Pritam Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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