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Nanostring’s shares fell 20 percent on Wednesday.

nanostringIt was a tough first day on the stock market for Seattle’s NanoString Technologies, with shares falling 19.4 percent on Wednesday as the stock closed at $8.06.

The 138-person company, a maker of genomic analysis tools which spun out of genomics pioneer Leroy Hood’s Institute for Systems Biology in 2003, earlier this month planned to sell shares in the range of $13 to $15 per share. But that ended dropping to $10 per share, as the company sold 5.4 million shares today.

Nanostring’s IPO marks the second technology company from Washington state to go public this year, following in the path of Tableau Software. But unlike Nanostring, Tableau enjoyed a blistering first day on the stock market, with shares up 63 percent. The big data company is now trading at about $56.68 per share and has a market value of more than $3 billion.

nanostring44NanoString is losing money, showing a net loss of $17.7 million last year, and a first quarter loss of $7.2 million. In fact, the company has never made money, and it is reporting a total accumulated deficit of $102.8 million since it was founded. Revenues were just $22 million last year — about $100 million less than Tableau’s.

Of course, in the biotech and life sciences arena, huge losses and minimal revenue are more expected. But it seems, at least initially, that Wall Street isn’t too high on the company so far.

NanoString plans to use proceeds from the stock sale to commercialize Prosigna — a genomic tool that can help determine the risk of recurrence of breast cancer. It also plans to build a sales force to market Prosigna, and expand commercial operations for its nCounter Analysis Systems.

The company’s venture backers include Clarus Funds, which owns 36 percent, DFJ Funds, which owns 20 percent, and OVP Venture Partners, which owns 23 percent. It is led by former Genzyme Corp. exec Brad Gray, who owns 4.77 percent of the company.

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