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Another smashing public debut by a local biotech: Kymera stock soars by 66 percent

The Cambridge company is working on treatments for immune-inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and eczema.

Kymera Therapeutics chief executive Nello Mainolfi.
Kymera Therapeutics chief executive Nello Mainolfi.Jen Randall Photography

Kymera Therapeutics, a Cambridge biotech that has cut deals with several large drug firms, closed up more than 66 percent Friday after its first day of trading in a market that has been white-hot for biotechs making debuts.

The company’s share price closed at $33.26, up from $20 when it began trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol “KYMR.” On Thursday, the firm announced that it had raised more than $173 million in an initial public offering by offering 8.7 million shares at $20, above the range of $16 to $18.

Kymera is developing therapies that use the body’s ability to break down and recycle proteins based on research that led to the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

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As a privately held startup, Kymera attracted the attention of several major drug companies. Last month, it announced it will receive $150 million upfront from the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi in a deal to collaborate on potential treatments for inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Kymera is working on a “protein degrader” that scientists believe could treat several immune-inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, and a painful skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa.

“This is an important collaboration for both companies and for the field of targeted protein degradation,” said Nello Mainolfi, cofounder and chief executive of Kymera, in July.

Kymera, which was cofounded in 2016 by the Cambridge venture capital firm Atlas Venture, also has a deal with Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals, one of the most prominent drug companies in Massachusetts.

In May 2019 Vertex, the biotech best known for its portfolio of drugs to treat cystic fibrosis, announced it was paying Kymera $70 million up front to collaborate on research and development of potential drugs to treat a range of diseases.

Kymera also has a partnership with the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline that gives the latter access to Kymera’s technology for screening small molecules.

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Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jonathan.saltzman@globe.com.