2020's IPO party continues with four new Nasdaq entrants, including Covillionaire Carl Hansen's AbCellera
Three more companies are making their Wall Street debuts Friday as the industry’s record-breaking IPO year nears a conclusion, with two massive raises in the group — including the newest Covillionaire’s outfit.
The biotechs AbCellera, 4D Molecular Therapeutics and Nanobiotix, as well as biosimulation company Certara, all priced late Thursday. Certara raised the most of the bunch at a whopping $668 million, while Carl Hansen’s AbCellera neared the half-billion mark at $483 million. 4DMT raised $193.2 million in its second IPO go-around, and Nanobiotix followed up with a $99 million raise of their own.
In terms of pricing, Certara, 4DMT and AbCellera priced above their ranges at $23, $23 and $20 per share, respectively. Nanobiotix came in at the low end with $13.50 per share.
It’s been anything but a normal year for IPOs in biotech, with numbers and raises skyrocketing despite a hampered economy and the country’s worst health crisis in a century. As of Dec. 4, the total amount of IPOs stood at 82, according to Nasdaq head of healthcare listings Jordan Saxe, who told Endpoints News the companies combined to raise over $14 billion this year.
There had been no more than 56 biotechs to go public in any of the previous three years, with that total coming in 2018, per independent analyst Brad Loncar. Saxe had counted 72 IPOs in 2018, but both tallies had long been eclipsed by the unending parade of debuts the industry has seen this year.
AbCellera is the highest-profile company of the group, with Hansen set to join the exclusive Covillionaire club on the heels of the company’s skyrocketing value. Hansen has kept hold of what will be a 23% stake in the company, controlling 61,827,830 shares, with AbCellera’s market cap easily exceeding the $5 billion estimate from the middle of its expected range.
The biotech’s partnership with Eli Lilly has proved fruitful, with the companies teaming up on a Covid-19 antibody where questions remain despite receiving emergency use authorization last month. And recently, billionaire Peter Thiel joined the company’s board of directors after AbCellera scooped up several “next-generation” mice under development.
Certara, which is owned by Swedish private equity firm EQT, creates biosimulation software and offers technology-enabled services. The company says 17 regulatory agencies worldwide use their software, including the FDA and EMA. Per the company’s S-1, it expects to use most of the $668 million raise to pay off debt, with the rest going to general administrative purposes.
4DMT had originally sought a $100 million IPO back in September 2019, but withdrew its filing after completing a $75 million Series C instead. The company listed in its new S-1 that ongoing clinical trials for their leading programs 4D-310 and 4D-125 would be their top priorities with the funding. Both of those candidates are currently in Phase I/II with data likely coming next year.
Nanobiotix, a French biotech, is researching how its nanotechnology platform can improve the efficacy of radiotherapy cancer treatments. Its lead candidate, NBTXR3, contains nanoparticles suspended in a liquid — when injected into a tumor and exposed to radiation, the company says the program amplifies the effects of the radiation and spurs an immune response.
They’ve run eight clinical trials with this program so far, and in September partnered with MD Anderson to launch a Phase I study in pancreatic cancer. Per the company’s F-1, they expect to use about $58.1 million on a Phase III trial for head and neck cancers in elderly patients ineligible for cisplatin chemo, with another $20.6 million going to the rest of their studies.