For the past year, it’s been tough for biotech companies to get traction in the IPO market (there were a mere 10 deals in 2011). But today, Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) bucked the trend. The company issued 5.5 million shares at $10 each, which was in the middle of its $9-$11 price range. So far in today’s trading, the stock is up over 12%.
Verastem is the brainchild of some of the top oncology researchers in the world, include PhDs Robert Weinberg, Eric Lander and Piyush Gupta. Based on their breakout discoveries, they have developed VS-507, a molecule that kills cancer stem cells. This is a highly aggressive type of cancer that is resistant to conventional approaches.
Current treatments are far from ideal: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormones and so on. So Verastem is working on next-generation approaches — and this means focusing on cancer stem cells. Read