Targanta stock slips in first day of trading

Shares of Targanta Therapeutics Inc. fell 7.5 percent yesterday in the company’s first day as a public company.

The stock closed at $9.25 a share after opening at $10, the price sought in the $57 million initial public offering. Targanta is listed on NASDAQ under the ticker TARG.

The Cambridge, Mass., firm is commercializing an antibiotic developed by Eli Lilly and Co. for treating skin infections.

Lilly originally sold rights to oritavancin to California-based Intermune. Intermune about two years ago sold the rights to Targanta, which was briefly headquartered in Indianapolis.

Lilly received $50 million upfront from Intermune, and holds rights to receive $10 million when the drug gets its first regulatory approval. Lilly will receive another $10 million upon a second regulatory approval as well as an additional $15 million if first-year sales exceed $210 million.

Lilly shifted the drug outside the company because it turned its focus to cancer, diabetes and neuroscience rather than antibiotics.

Targanta raised $70 million in venture capital in the first half of this year, according to BioEnterprise, an Ohio not-for-profit that tracks the life sciences industry.

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