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By Ian Walker

Shares of Arecor Therapeutics PLC, a biopharmaceutical company backed by Unilever PLC, rose as much as 12% when trading started on London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM Thursday, implying a market capitalization of 69.8 million pounds ($98.9 million).

Shares at 0755 GMT were trading at 247.0 pence, compared with its initial public offering price of 226.0 pence, having peaked a 252.0 pence earlier in the session.

As part of its IPO, Arecor has raised GBP20 million which will be used to advance the development of its diabetes and specialty hospital products, build its team and strengthen the balance sheet.

Arecor said previously that its two lead products are in clinical development for the treatment of diabetes. The company has a total of four active licensing agreements with partners including Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC and Inhibrx Inc.

“This IPO will allow us to continue to grow the business through the development of our own proprietary diabetes and specialty hospital products whilst creating further value through our technology licensing partnerships,” Chief Executive Sarah Howell said.

Consumer-goods group Unilever held a 17.8% stake in Arecor before its admission to trading, according to an AIM filing.

Arecor said Panmure Gordon (UK) Ltd. is acting as nominated advisor and sole broker to the company.

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