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Emergent Biosolutions Falls After IPO

(AP) WASHINGTON

Shares of the manufacturer of the only U.S.-approved anthrax vaccine declined in their first day of trading Wednesday.


Shares of Emergent BioSolutions Inc. closed at $11.70 on the New York Stock Exchange, down more than 6 percent from the initial offering price of $12.50, where the stock opened on Wednesday morning.

The company sold 5 million shares of its stock at a price below the expected range of $14 to $16 a share, set by underwriter JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Based in Gaithersburg, Md., Emergent makes the only Food and Drug Administration-approved anthrax vaccine, BioThrax. Its primary customer for the vaccine is the U.S. government, which relies on it to immunize troops.

The company also has three other biodefense drug candidates.

Unlike many drug developers that have come public this year in the United States, Emergent has actually been profitable, thanks to BioThrax. But in the first nine months of 2006, its revenue declined 24 percent to $65.8 million compared with the same period of 2005 as the number of doses it delivered to the U.S. government decreased after it fulfilled its orders earlier than required.

The company lost $3.3 million for the first three quarters of the year, compared earnings of $6.3 million for the same period of 2005, as growth in its expenses, especially in research and development, outpaced revenue.

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