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Galera Therapeutics founders

Galera Therapeutics founders Jeff Keene, Al Beardsley and Dennis Riley sit at a conference table in the company's Creve Coeur office. The table, which originally belonged to the Center for Emerging Technologies, served as Galera's first office.

Biopharmaceutical firm Galera Therapeutics, which was founded in St. Louis a decade ago, is now a public company traded on Nasdaq.

Galera raised $60 million Wednesday in its initial public stock offering, selling 5 million shares at $12 apiece. The shares surged as high as $13.43 in Thursday morning trading before settling back near the $12 level.

Galera moved its headquarters to Malvern, Pennsylvania, in 2012, but its founders still run the company's research efforts from Creve Coeur.

The company is developing a drug that reduces the side effects of radiation in cancer patients. It's part of a class of chemicals discovered by Dennis Riley, Galera's chief scientific officer, when he worked for Monsanto's former drug subsidiary.

Galera was launched in 2009 and received seed funding from BioGenerator, members of the St. Louis Arch Angels and ABC Laboratories of Columbia, Missouri. Cultivation Capital of St. Louis was also an early investor.


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