Small Biotech Cortexyme Briefly Doubles in Red-Hot Trading Debut

(Bloomberg) -- Lingering doubts about a trade deal between the U.S. and China failed to dampen investor enthusiasm or the sizzling debut of freshly-minted biopharmaceutical Cortexyme Inc..

The drugmaker that is studying potential treatments for degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, saw its stock surge on the first day of trading -- briefly doubling before paring those gains to about 70%.

In the process, the South San Francisco, California-based company saw its market value jump to $750 million in late afternoon trading.

Small Biotech Cortexyme Briefly Doubles in Red-Hot Trading Debut

The red-hot debut came amid a small flurry of public offerings by peers. NextCure Inc. saw a strong first session, gaining more than 35%, while shares in fellow small-cap drugmaker Axcella Health Inc. dropped by roughly 25%. A fourth small-cap health stock, Applied Therapeutics Inc., was expected to start trading today as well.

Cortexyme’s strong performance comes in the same week as small-cap drugmaker Trevi Therapeutics Inc.’s lackluster IPO. Trevi’s 21% decline on Tuesday placed it among the five worst debut sessions of any U.S. pharmaceutical initial public offering since at least 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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