Glaucoma drug developer Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) closed its initial public offering of stock Wednesday raising a total of $68.4 million that the company plans to use for clinical trials.

The New Jersey company, which operates its R&D labs in Research Triangle Park, said that the offering totaled more than 7.7 million shares, including 1.0 million shares purchased by the underwriters of the offering, who had the option to buy the additional shares at the IPO price of $10 per share to cover overallotments.
RBC Capital Markets and Stiefel were joint-book running managers for the offering. Canaccord Genuity Inc. and Needham & Company were co-managers.

Aerie’s technology is based on research originally developed at Duke University. The company has two clinical-stage compounds focused on glaucoma. The company’s lead candidate, a “dual-action” product, has completed phase II clinical trials and is ready to start phase III trials. A second drug candidate approaches glaucoma with a “triple action” mechanism. That compound is advancing to phase II studies.

Aerie shares closed Wednesday at $10.40, down 13 cents from Tuesday’s closing price.