Tranzyme Pharma shares began trading on the Nasdaq on Monday after the company drastically lowered the price in seeking to go public.

Shares now trade under the symbol TZYM.

After the markets closed Friday, Tranzyme formally announced that it was pricing its shares at $4.

In mid-morning trading Monday, shares were up slightly at $4.19. The low for the day is $3.95. They finished the day at $4.

But at least Tranzyme raised the overall amount of money it had targeted – around $52 million.

“At least Tranzyme, which is developing a treatment for gastrointestinal motility disorders, was able to collect the desired proceeds in its offering, even if that meant lowering the share price and raising the number of shares offered,” The Wall Street Journal noted in its Venture Capital Dispatch column. “The other four venture-backed biotechs that went public this year weren’t so lucky.”

The company had hoped to price the shares at $11 or more.

To make up for the lower price, Tranzyme is issuing 13.5 million shares rather than the planned 5 million.

Underwriters of the offering have the option to purchase nearly 1.5 million shares.

Company officials were unavailable to comment due to an imposed “quiet period” for the IPO.

Just last week, The Street headlined Tranzym’s planned public stock coming out party of the “Best IPO of the Week.”

The Durham-based company didn’t find buyers for its stock and delayed the initial public offering until Friday. 

By cutting the price but increasing the number of shares from 5 million as planned, Tranzyme could still raise some $50 million.

According to an SEC filing, Tranzyme generated $8.5 million in revenue last year.

Tranzyme filed its IPO plans originally last November. In December, Traznyme named Eli Lilly executive John Johnson as its chairman.

Tranzyme was formed in 1993. It is going public based on momentum built largely over the past two years.

Last July, Tranzyme landed its second major partnership deal in seven months for its small molecule technology and potential drug pipeline.

The company signed a deal worth as much as $158 million with European pharmaceutical firm Norgine B.V. for development of a treatment targeting diseases of the muscles of the gastrointestinal track – called gastrointestinal dysmotility – in acute care conditions.

Tranzyme received an $8 million upfront payment as part of the deal plus as much as $150 million based on achievement of development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Tranzyme also will receive double-digit royalties on future sales.

The compound under development, called ghrelin agonist ulimorelin (TZP-101), is entering Phase III clinical trials. It is Tranzyme’s lead product.

In December 2009, Tranzyme struck a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Tranzyme has won several patents for its technology that targets internal disorders, such as gastroparesis (weak stomach) and post-operative ileus (POI), or blockage of the intestine with its own drug candidates.

Read the latest SEC filing here.

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.