MORRISVILLE. — Liquidia, a biotechnology company focused on the use of nanotechnology, has raised $50 million in an initial public offering.

The Morrisville-based firm sold 4.5 million shares at a price of $11 per share. When it initially filed for its IPO, the company had hoped to raise $57.5 million.

Liquidia Technologies logo

Liquidia will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker LQDA beginning Thursday.

Liquidia is a nanotechnology company that designs, develops and manufactures precisely engineered particles and films for various life and material science applications.

Liquidia has stated in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings that “management will retain broad discretion” in its use of proceeds from the IPO, and that actual expenditures may vary based on things such as the progress of commercialization efforts and the success rate of clinical trials.

The company also said it may use some of the proceeds to in-license, acquire or invest in complementary businesses, assets and treatment technologies.

The company raised $25.5 million in a private equity offering in February. One of its largest shareholders, according to SEC filings, is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which owns 13.4 million shares, or 7.5 percent of Liquidia.

It reported a net loss of $27.5 million in the first quarter on $925,970 in revenue. As of March 31, Liquidia had $17.6 million in cash.

In its SEC filing, Liquidia stated that it is “primarily dependent” on the successful development and commercialization of its lead product, LIQ861, and another of its drug product candidates, LIQ865. The company intends to execute Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials for them during 2018.

The company is led by Chief Executive Officer Neal Fowler.

Fowler has been with the company since 2008. June 2006 to March 2008, Fowler served as president of Centocor Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which focused on the development and commercialization of industry-leading biomedicines used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases

For the 2017 fiscal year, Fowler received $587,369 in total compensation. That included $411,769 in base salary.

Jefferies LLC and Cowen & Co. are the joint book-running underwriters of the IPO. Other underwriters are Needham & Co. and Wedbush Securities.

The underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to 681,818 additional shares of common stock at the IPO price.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism