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Originally published June 25, 2013 at 4:40 PM | Page modified June 26, 2013 at 4:36 PM

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NanoString IPO off to rocky start

NanoString Technologies of Seattle priced its initial public offering of stock Tuesday at $10 a share, below the $13-$15 target it set in mid-June before world stock markets got shaky.

By Seattle Times business staff

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Shares in NanoString Technologies of Seattle fell 19.4 percent Wednesday, a rocky start for the Pacific Northwest’s latest IPO.

The stock sank $1.94 to close at $8.06 in its trading debut.

The company priced its initial public offering of stock Tuesday at $10 a share, below the $13-$15 target set in mid-June before world markets got shaky.

The developer of life-science research tools sold 5.4 million shares, raising proceeds of $54 million before expenses.

NanoString’s underwriters, led by JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, have the option to sell an additional 810,000 shares if demand is sufficient.

The IPO price implies a market capitalization of $146 million for the company.

NanoString had sales of $23 million and a net loss of $17.7 million last year, and has accumulated losses of $102.8 million since it was founded in 2003.

It sells analytical systems that cancer researchers and other scientists use to study the activity of genes in small tissue samples. In February it gained European clearance to market its Prosigna diagnostic system, and it has applied for Food and Drug Administration clearance to offer that system here to assess a patient’s risk for recurrence of breast cancer.

Proceeds of the IPO will go to pursue commercialization of the Prosigna system after obtaining regulatory authorization, including establishing a dedicated oncology sales force, and to develop other diagnostic and research products, the company said.

NanoString is the second Washington company to go public recently. Tableau Software, the Seattle maker of digital-charting tools, in May raised $254.2 million.

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