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Best first-day IPO


Cancer therapy company Monopar Therapeutics, led by Cambridge MBA Chandler Robinson, has very successful initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq.

Close up of lab assistant with sterile rubber gloves holding stand with test tubes with blood samples.

Monopar, a Chicago-based company seeking to improve clinical outcomes for cancer patients, led by Cambridge Judge Business School graduate Chandler Robinson (MBA 2009), saw its stock price soar by 231 per cent on the first day of its IPO on Nasdaq.

Nasdaq News termed the 19 December IPO of Monopar Therapeutics (Nasdaq:MNPR) the “best first-day pop for an IPO since Baidu in 2005”, a reference to the Chinese technology company.

Monopar is Chandler’s second successful biotech exit since completing his studies at Cambridge. Chandler helped start the first company, Tactic Pharma, immediately after completing the Cambridge MBA. Tactic was focused on a drug Chandler researched as an undergraduate and published a paper on in the journal Science. He was the CEO of Tactic and that drug ended up having strong Phase II data in Wilson Disease (related to copper buildup in the body) patients and being acquired by Alexion for $855M.

The new company, Monopar, is focused on developing drugs which help extend the life and improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Monopar’s pipeline consists of three drugs:

  • Validive, going into a Phase III trial in an indication with no currently approved treatment (severe oral mucositis in oropharyngeal cancer).
  • Camsirubicin, going into a larger Phase II trial after completing a promising initial Phase II trial in an indication where patients live around 12-15 months from the time of diagnosis (advanced soft tissue sarcoma).
  • MNPR-101 which is in the preclinical stages of development.

Chandler credits his Cambridge MBA for “helping me hone my leadership and business judgment skills, giving me the confidence and ability to manage and operate these companies.”

Chandler says the next stages for Monopar call for the development and commercialisation of its drugs, as well as others which Monopar may bring into its pipeline.