Merrion Pharmaceuticals is shooting for as much as $48 million in its initial public offering, according to published reports.

Merrion, which has its U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, N.C., disclosed plans to go public in April.

VentureWire and Private Equity Wire reported Tuesday that Merrion had set a target of between $10 and $12 per share for an offering of 4 million shares.

Merrion plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol MERR.

Punk, Ziegel & Co. is the lead underwriter for the offering.

Merrion is a developer of oral drug delivery technology. The company was founded in 2004.

Under its marketing slogan, “Making Medicines Better,” Merrion is developing means of taking drugs orally rather than through injections and other “complex treatment regimes.” By making drugs easier to take, the company hopes to improve patient compliance.

"We aim to be the premier supplier of oral drug delivery technology to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries," company executives told WRAL Local Tech Wire shortly after the firm’s launch.

Merrion recently received a U.S. patent for a drug delivery system based on peptide compounds.