Another biotech IPO boasting a pharma castoff rings the bell on Wall Street with $75M haul

Mersana made the IPO leap $MRSN yesterday and quickly saw its share price sink a dollar on its first day of trading. But that won’t stop the line of execs ready to make the jump too.

Tuesday night Dova Pharmaceuticals crashed the party with a $75 million haul after selling an upsized batch of 4.4 million shares at $17 – the high end of the range. And Aileron followed up by pricing 3.75 million shares at $15, raising $56 million as it prepared to launch $ALRN into trading today.

That $15 mark is the same price that Mersana hit, falling at the low end of the range that Aileron set for itself. That’s not great, but anything that doesn’t fall short of the mark now is likely to encourage more biotechs to get in line long after the old boom of 2013 and 2014 faded away. And Dova’s clear success will add even more encouragement to biotechs looking to test the market waters.

Dova came out of nowhere, proving again that you can sometimes do better with a shiny new thing than a company that’s been working on a pipeline for years. In this case, the biotech also followed an increasingly popular strategy, bagging a Phase III-ready drug and hustling through the clinic on the way to an IPO $DOVA.

In this case the drug is avatrombopag, which Dova’s founders discovered at Eisai. At the end of Q1, Dova had only found staffers. It also had Phase III data on thrombocytopenia with plans to look for an FDA approval in 2018.

This all followed a deal with Eisai that included a $5 million upfront payment and $135 million in milestones, according to the S-1. The IP comes from Astellas. PBM Capital provided the operating cash and owns 85% of the company.

For Aileron $ALRN, the focus is on p53, which has proven to be a highly valued, highly frustrating target in cancer research.

This latest group of biotech IPOs is coming in as the industry sees a string of new listings make a go of it. Biohaven $BHVN helped get the festivities going and more IPOs are expected.

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VP Oncology Biology
Skyhawk Therapeutics Waltham, MA
Director Process Development
Elektroki Boston, MA
Director Process Development
Elektroki Boston, MA
Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT

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