Syndax shares rise slightly after raising nearly $53 million in IPO

Shares of Syndax Pharmaceuticals Inc. inched up 0.08 percent early Thursday afternoon after the cancer drug developer raised nearly $53 million in an initial public offering. Waltham-based Syndax sold 4.4 million shares at $12 each in its Wednesday IPO, pricing its offering below a previously-estimated range of $14 to $16 a share, according to research firm Renaissance Capital. It debuted Thursday on the Nasdaq under the listing SNDX. After trading higher earlier in the day, Syndax shares closed up 1 cent at $12.01. The company’s lead drug candidate is entinostat, a pill that acts directly on both cancer cells and immune regulatory cells, potentially enhancing the body’s immune response to tumors. The drug could eventually be used in combination therapies against lung cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer, and triple-negative breast cancer. Syndax became only the seventh company to go public in 2016, a year marked so far by choppy financial markets. Five are biotechs, including Cambridge-based Editas Medicine Inc., which raised $94.4 million, and Proteostasis Inc., which raised $50 million. Investment firms Morgan Stanley and Citi were lead managers for the Syndax IPO. — ROBERT WEISMAN


AMC to buy rival chain for $1.1 billion

AMC Entertainment, the movie theater chain bought by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group in 2012, is acquiring rival chain Carmike Cinemas for $1.1 billion including debt. The acquisition will make the combined entity the largest theater chain in North America and the world, and signals Wanda’s further expansion into entertainment. It comes just two months after Wanda said it would spend $3.5 billion to acquire mid-level studio Legendary Entertainment, the cofinancier of blockbusters like ‘‘Jurassic World’’ and ‘‘The Dark Knight.’’ The combined entity will boost AMC’s theater locations by more than 70 percent to well over 600 and boost its screen count by half to nearly 8,400. Both boards approved the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Uber to offer motorcycle and scooter services in India

Uber Technologies Inc. and Ola announced competing motorcycle and scooter services for India just hours apart Thursday, underscoring the intensifying effort to capture customers in the world’s second-most populous nation. UberMOTO’s pilot on-demand service will debut in the technology hub of Bengaluru offering rides starting from 15 rupees (22 US cents), it said in a statement. The announcement comes a week after a similar service debuted in Bangkok. The world’s most valuable startup is going head-to-head with Ola on its home turf. India’s largest ride-hailing service announced just after Uber it was launching its own bike taxi pilot in the same city, setting its fares below Uber’s. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Farm workers sue Palm Beach for right to protest at home of Wendy’s executive

A US farm workers coalition is suing Palm Beach, alleging the wealthy town’s ordinances effectively bar the group from its constitutional right to hold a protest near the home of a billionaire fast-food executive. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, representing about 40,000 field workers, wants a federal judge to allow a planned demonstration March 12 near the home of Wendy’s Co. board chairman Nelson Peltz. At issue is the company’s refusal to pay a penny-per-pound fee for its tomatoes to supplement some farm workers’ wages. No hearing date has been set. According to the lawsuit, local ordinances say demonstrations cannot: make any noise that annoys the community or disturbs the peace; impede foot or vehicle traffic; use amplification, banners, and nongovernment flags. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Google engineers to help track Zika virus

Google said Thursday that a half-dozen of its engineers are working to help Brazil track the Zika virus and the mosquito that spreads it by doing one of the things the search engine giant does best: write algorithms. Volunteer Google engineers in San Francisco and New York are working with UNICEF counterparts to create a system that combines several types of data to help predict where the Aedes aegypti mosquito might next be particularly active, helping in eradication efforts. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Orders to US factories jump in January

Orders to US factories increased in January by the most in seven months, while a key category that tracks business investment plans rose by the largest amount in 19 months. Factory orders rose 1.6 percent in January after two months of declines, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It was the biggest jump since June, though it was driven by demand in the volatile category of commercial aircraft. At the same time, orders in a core sector that reflects business investment rose 3.4 percent — the sharpest one-month gain since June 2014. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Rates rose this week for first time in two months

Average long-term US mortgage rates rose this week for the first time in two months as global economic anxiety and market turbulence eased. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.64 percent from 3.62 percent last week. The benchmark rate remains below the 3.75 percent level it marked a year ago. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages edged up to 2.94 percent from 2.93 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



US moves to drop criminal indictment

Federal authorities sought Thursday to drop a criminal indictment of bid rigging against Oklahoma energy tycoon Aubrey McClendon, who died in a fiery crash just hours after the indictment was announced. Meanwhile, attorneys for a northwest Oklahoma landowner filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against McClendon’s former company, Chesapeake Energy, alleging a conspiracy that involved another energy executive, ex-Sandridge Energy chief executive Tom Ward. The US Department of Justice’s Chicago-based antitrust division alleged in the indictment against McClendon that he and unnamed coconspirators orchestrated the conspiracy to rig bids for landowner leases in northwest Oklahoma. Ward, a longtime friend of McClendon’s who cofounded Chesapeake in the 1980s, was the CEO of Sandridge at the time the conspiracy was alleged to have occurred. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


American Airlines flight attendant sets fire to airplane bathroom

An American Airlines flight attendant set fire to an airplane bathroom and then played a hero by pretending to discover it and extinguish the flames, authorities said. Johnathan Tafoya-Montano has been arrested and charged with destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities and false statements in the incident, which occurred Feb. 1 en route from Dallas to Detroit, the FBI said Wednesday in a statement. Tafoya-Montano, who was working on board American Airlines flight 1418 from Dallas to Detroit, alerted crew members to a fire in the rear lavatory and then extinguished it, the FBI said in a statement. The captain notified air traffic controllers and the plane, which was approaching Detroit Metropolitan Airport, was granted emergency status to land, authorities said. Passengers and crew members were not injured. — BLOOMBERG NEWS