Blacksburg-based life sciences company Intrexon raised $160 million in its initial public offering Thursday.

The firm saw its stock prices surge during the first day of trading. Initially priced at $16 a piece, shares closed 55 percent higher at $24.73. Intrexon trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “XON.”

Chairman and chief executive Randal J. Kirk agreed to purchase $30 million in shares of the company’s common stock, according to a regulatory filing. That equates to 1,875,000 of the 9,999,999 shares that were offered as part of the sale.

Intrexon, which has a large office in Germantown, collaborates with other companies in sectors such as medicine, animal science and agriculture to engineer biological products and processes.

The company said in a filing that net proceeds of the offering will be used to invest in research and development, and create partnerships with additional companies.

The company filed forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission July 9 indicating plans to go public. At the time, the firm expected to raise $125 million in the transaction.

Under new guidelines, firms with less than $1 billion in revenue can communicate with the SEC confidentially and make their intentions public just three weeks before going to market.

Follow Steven Overly on Twitter: @StevenOverly