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Gates-Backed Vir Biotechnology Flops in Trading Debut

  • Spate of biotech listings fails to deliver on expectations
  • Shares of companies with 2019 U..S. IPOs in the red on average
The Transamerica Pyramid building, right, stands in the skyline of downtown in this aerial photograph taken above San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. With tech workers flooding San Francisco, one-bedroom apartment rents have climbed to $3,500 a month, more than in any other U.S. city.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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Vir Biotechnology Inc. fell almost 30% in its trading debut, adding to a series of IPO disappointments in an industry that was seen as at least partly immune to the ills afflicting this year’s newly public tech giants.

San Francisco-based Vir sold 7.14 million shares Thursday for $20 each -- the bottom of its marketed range -- to raise $143 million. The shares opened Friday at $16.15 and fell from there, closing at $14.02 to give the company a market value of about $1.5 billion.