IPOs

An early arrival among ’17 biotech IPOs, AnaptysBio keeps to its range in successful $75M play

Hamza Suria, AnaptysBio

AnaptysBio has upped its shares but still managed to hit the mid-point of its IPO range, raising $75 million.

The successful outing marks an encouraging start to the year for biotech IPOs, which have been in rough terrain after a year of ups and downs on Wall Street. Right now, a mid-range IPO looks pretty good. And it perhaps bodes well for the initial lineup of biotech companies looking to start the year with an IPO raise.

San Diego-based AnaptysBio priced 5 million shares — up by a million — at $15 a share. The underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares of common stock, which will trade under the ANAB symbol.

In another sign of encouragement, ObsEva, the Geneva-based developer of new therapies for reproductive health, raised $97 million by pricing shares at $15 apiece — also within the range. The biotech will trade as OBSV.

It’s been a long time coming for AnaptysBio.

The biotech set out to raise $86 million in an IPO initially filed in the fall of 2015, as the market began to sour for new offerings and generalists began to flee for safer fields. Helmed by Hamza Suria, the company built its reputation around next-gen antibodies that can bind to multiple targets. AnaptysBio developed combined antibodies assembled on an IgG scaffold in which the tips of the Y-shaped protein could be designed to bind to multiple targets.

That rep attracted the likes of Merck $MRK, Novartis $NVS and Roche $RHHBY as well as Celgene $CELG and Tesaro $TSRO on collaborations that helped fund the company’s work.

Last year only 28 biotechs managed to complete their IPOs. That wasn’t awful, but it was a far cry from the go-go days of 2013-2015. In 2014, there were 66 IPOs. The general consensus is we’ll see a few more biotech IPOs this year, but not a lot more.


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