The biotech IPO feast flags as in­vestors lose their ap­petite for R&D risk

There was a time af­ter the 2008 crash that biotech IPOs were about as pop­u­lar as snow in March. But from 2013 through 2015 gen­er­al­ist in­vestors got over their fears and jumped in­to one of the hottest stock games on the plan­et. Funds chased each oth­er for huge re­turns. CEOs be­came overnight mil­lion­aires.

Now the mar­ket pen­du­lum has swung back as the bears pushed aside the bulls. But that doesn’t mean that the new ice age has be­gun, ei­ther.

With H1 com­ing to an end to­mor­row, Nas­daq has count­ed 14 biotech IPOs that col­lec­tive­ly raked in $878 mil­lion, a much re­duced fig­ure from the $4 bil­lion raised in 2015 from 42 biotech IPOs they tracked. And it was lit­tle com­pared to the 61 IPOs that raised $4.3 bil­lion dur­ing the go-go days of 2014.

That’s not too sur­pris­ing, giv­en the gale force winds that have been howl­ing in the biotech sec­tor over the last 6 months. A lot of good com­pa­nies have seen their stock prices fall by half. A hint of bad news now can evis­cer­ate stocks in sec­onds, and there are a host of com­pa­nies that are close to or in pen­ny stock ter­ri­to­ry.

What still draws a crowd on Wall Street? Cer­tain­ly gene edit­ing. If you look over the list of H1 IPOs Nas­daq of­fer­ered me, you’ll see that Ed­i­tas and In­tel­lia scored in the top ranks of new IPOs. That’s why CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics has been set­ting the stage for an S-1 that’s al­most cer­tain­ly go­ing to shoot for the stars.

Chi­na’s BeiGene got the ball rolling with the biggest of­fer­ing of the year. But with more and more biotechs hang­ing back to wait for a sun­nier in­vest­ment cli­mate, it’s not un­usu­al to see plen­ty of dis­counts on share prices.

There are a cou­ple of biotech IPOs in the queue this week, Sy­ros Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Gem­phire Ther­a­peu­tics, which are to­geth­er hunt­ing about $100 mil­lion more.

The mu­sic hasn’t died in biotech, but it’s not near­ly as loud and ur­gent as the hit tunes from 2013-2015. — John Car­roll, fol­low me @John­Cendpts


H1 2016 IPOs

Sym­bol Com­pa­ny Name IPO Date Raise IPO Price
$SELB Se­lec­ta Bio­sciences 6/21/16 $70,000,000 $14.00
$MBRX Mol­e­culin Biotech, Inc. 6/2/16 $9,240,156 $6.00
$MRUS Merus N.V. 5/19/16 $55,000,000 $10.00
$PZRX PhaseRx, Inc. 5/18/16 $18,500,000 $5.00
$ON­SIU On­co­bi­o­log­ics, Inc. 5/13/16 $35,000,004 $6.00
$NT­LA In­tel­lia Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 5/6/16 $108,000,000 $18.00
$SBPH Spring Bank Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Inc. 5/6/16 $11,040,000 $12.00
$AGLE Ae­glea Bio­Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 4/7/16 $50,000,000 $10.00
$CRVS Corvus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Inc. 3/23/16 $70,500,000 $15.00
$SNDX Syn­dax Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc 3/3/16 $52,800,000 $12.00
$AVXS AveX­is, Inc. 2/11/16 $95,000,000 $20.00
$PTI Pro­teosta­sis Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 2/11/16 $50,000,000 $8.00
$ED­IT Ed­i­tas Med­i­cine, Inc. 2/3/16 $94,400,000 $16.00
$BGNE BeiGene Ltd. Spon­sored ADR 2/3/16 $158,400,000 $24.00

2015 IPOs

 

Sym­bol Com­pa­ny Name IPO Date Raise IPO Price
$MESO Mesoblast Lim­it­ed Spon­sored ADR 11/13/15 $59,836,936 $8.00
$VY­GR Voy­ager Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 11/11/15 $70,000,000 $14.00
$OASM Oas­mia Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal AB ADR 10/23/15 $9,497,152 $4.06
$DMTX Di­men­sion Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 10/22/15 $65,000,000 $13.00
$SBBP Strong­bridge Bio­phar­ma plc 10/16/15 $25,000,000 $10.00
$CT­MX Cy­tomX Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 10/8/15 $80,000,004 $12.00
$MIRN Mir­na Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 10/1/15 $43,750,000 $7.00
$EDGE Edge Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 10/1/15 $80,466,661 $11.00
$RGNX RE­GENXBIO, Inc. 9/17/15 $138,600,000 $22.00
$BNTC Ben­itec Bio­phar­ma Lim­it­ed 8/18/15 $13,815,000 $9.21
$GBT Glob­al Blood Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 8/12/15 $120,000,000 $20.00
$AIMT Aim­mune Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 8/6/15 $160,000,000 $16.00
$NTEC In­tec Phar­ma Ltd 8/4/15 $30,150,000 $6.00
$VTVT vTv Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. Class A 7/30/15 $117,187,500 $15.00
$NK Nan­tK­west, Inc. 7/28/15 $207,200,000 $25.00
$DNAI ProN­Ai Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 7/16/15 $137,700,000 $17.00
$CHMA Chi­as­ma Inc. 7/16/15 $101,840,000 $16.00
$NTRA Nat­era Inc. 7/2/15 $180,000,000 $18.00
$MCRB Seres Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 6/26/15 $133,749,990 $18.00
$CATB Cataba­sis Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 6/25/15 $60,000,000 $12.00
$NVLS Ni­valis Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 6/17/15 $77,000,000 $14.00
$AX­ON Ax­o­vant Sci­ences Ltd. 6/11/15 $315,000,000 $15.00
$BITI Bi­otie Ther­a­pies Corp Spon­sored ADR 6/11/15 $55,969,900 $14.88
$GLPG Gala­pa­gos NV Spon­sored ADR 5/14/15 $210,103,750 $42.05
$LIFE aTyr Phar­ma, Inc. 5/7/15 $75,040,000 $14.00
$ADAP Adap­ti­m­mune Ther­a­peu­tics PLC 5/6/15 $191,250,000 $17.00
$CLCD CoLu­cid Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Inc. 5/6/15 $55,000,000 $10.00
$OPGN Op­Gen, Inc. 5/5/15 $17,071,500 $5.99
$BPMC Blue­print Med­i­cines Corp. 4/30/15 $146,625,012 $18.00
$VK­TX Viking Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 4/29/15 $24,000,000 $8.00
$CDTX Cidara Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 4/15/15 $76,800,000 $16.00
$ADRO Aduro BioTech, Inc. 4/15/15 $119,000,000 $17.00
$XBIT XBiotech, Inc. 4/15/15 $76,000,000 $19.00
$CLLS Cel­lec­tis SA Spon­sored ADR 3/25/15 $228,250,000 $41.50
$SMMT Sum­mit Ther­a­peu­tics PLC 3/4/15 $34,155,000 $9.90
$ITEK In­otek Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Cor­po­ra­tion 2/18/15 $40,002,000 $6.00
$NV­TA In­vi­tae Corp. 2/11/15 $101,600,000 $16.00
$NVET Nexvet Bio­phar­ma PLC 2/5/15 $40,000,000 $10.00
$ONCE Spark Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc. 1/30/15 $161,000,000 $23.00
$TCON TRA­CON Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Inc. 1/30/15 $36,000,000 $10.00
$AS­ND As­cendis Phar­ma A/S 1/28/15 $108,000,000 $18.00

2014 IPOs

Sym­bol Com­pa­ny Name IPO Date Raise IPO Price
$JUNO Juno Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 12/19/14 $264,550,008 $24.00
$BLCM Bel­licum Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc 12/18/14 $139,650,000 $19.00
$HS­GX His­to­gen­ics Corp. 12/3/14 $65,000,001 $11.00
$NEOT Neo­thet­ics, Inc. 11/20/14 $65,100,000 $14.00
$FGEN Fi­bro­Gen Inc. 11/14/14 $145,800,000 $18.00
$CHRS Co­herus Bio­Sciences Inc. 11/6/14 $85,000,050 $13.50
$XENE Xenon Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 11/5/14 $36,000,000 $9.00
$DB­VT DBV Tech­nolo­gies SA. (ADS) 10/22/14 $92,572,155 $21.64
$PRTO Pro­teon Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 10/22/14 $61,100,000 $10.00
$ATRA Atara Bio­ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 10/16/14 $55,000,000 $11.00
$FWP For­ward Phar­ma A/S (ADS) 10/15/14 $220,500,000 $21.00
$CALA Calithera Bio­sciences Inc. 10/2/14 $80,000,000 $10.00
$VBLT Vas­cu­lar Bio­gen­ics Ltd. 10/1/14 $40,000,002 $6.00
$VTAE Vi­tae Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 9/24/14 $55,000,000 $8.00
$PRQR Pro­QR Ther­a­peu­tics NV 9/18/14 $97,500,000 $13.00
$TKAI Tokai Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 9/17/14 $97,200,000 $15.00
$AFMD Af­fimed Ther­a­peu­tics BV 9/12/14 $56,000,000 $7.00
$OT­IC Oton­o­my Inc. 8/13/14 $100,000,000 $16.00
$TTOO T2 Biosys­tems Inc. 8/7/14 $57,200,000 $11.00
$LOXO Loxo On­col­o­gy Inc. 8/1/14 $68,399,994 $13.00
$MCUR Macro­cure Ltd. 7/31/14 $53,500,000 $10.00
$ORPN Bio Blast Phar­ma Ltd. 7/31/14 $35,200,000 $11.00
$AAVL Avalanche Biotech­nolo­gies Inc. 7/31/14 $102,000,000 $17.00
$IMDZ Im­mune De­sign Corp. 7/24/14 $60,000,000 $12.00
$PFNX Pfenex Inc. 7/24/14 $49,999,998 $6.00
$SAGE SAGE Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 7/18/14 $90,000,000 $18.00
$CD­NA CareDx Inc. 7/17/14 $40,000,000 $10.00
$GBIM GlobeIm­mune Inc. 7/2/14 $15,000,000 $10.00
$NERV Min­er­va Neu­ro­sciences Inc. 7/1/14 $32,727,270 $6.00
$KITE Kite Phar­ma Inc. 6/20/14 $127,500,000 $17.00
$ZFGN Zaf­gen Inc. 6/19/14 $96,000,000 $16.00
$ARDX ARDE­LYX INC. 6/19/14 $60,200,000 $14.00
$SGNL Sig­nal Ge­net­ics Inc. 6/18/14 $8,500,000 $10.00
$RDUS Ra­dius Health Inc. 6/6/14 $52,000,000 $8.00
$AL­DR Alder Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 5/8/14 $80,000,000 $10.00
$ALDX Aldeyra Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 5/2/14 $12,000,000 $8.00
$VTL Vi­tal Ther­a­pies Inc. 4/17/14 $54,000,000 $12.00
$CERU Cerulean Phar­ma Inc. 4/10/14 $59,500,000 $7.00
$ADMS Adamas Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 4/10/14 $48,000,000 $16.00
$AGTC Ap­plied Ge­net­ic Tech­nolo­gies Corp. 3/27/14 $50,000,004 $12.00
$VSAR Ver­sar­tis Inc. 3/21/14 $126,000,000 $21.00
$AK­BA Ake­bia Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 3/20/14 $100,000,001 $17.00
$GLMD Galmed Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Ltd. 3/13/14 $38,304,900 $13.50
$AQXP Aquinox Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 3/7/14 $46,200,000
$REPH Re­cro Phar­ma Inc. 3/7/14 $30,000,000 $8.00
$CNCE Con­cert Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 2/13/14 $84,000,000 $14.00
$EGRX Ea­gle Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 2/12/14 $50,250,000 $15.00
$FLXN Flex­ion Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 2/12/14 $65,000,000 $13.00
$NRX Nephro­Genex Inc. 2/11/14 $37,200,000 $12.00
$ARGS Ar­gos Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 2/7/14 $45,000,000 $8.00
$EBIO Eleven Bio­ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 2/6/14 $50,000,000 $10.00
$BIOC Bio­cept Inc. 2/5/14 $19,000,000 $10.00
$GN­CA Geno­cea Bio­sciences Inc. 2/5/14 $66,000,000 $12.00
$AS­PX Aus­pex Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 2/5/14 $84,000,000 $12.00
$QURE uniQure N.V. 2/5/14 $91,800,000 $17.00
$CARA Cara Ther­a­peu­tics Inc. 1/31/14 $55,000,000 $11.00
$TRVN Treve­na Inc. 1/31/14 $64,750,000 $7.00
$RARE Ul­tragenyx Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Inc. 1/31/14 $120,967,749 $21.00
$CLDN Cel­ladon Corp. 1/30/14 $44,000,000 $8.00
$DR­NA Dicer­na Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Inc. 1/30/14 $90,000,000 $15.00
$GLYC Gly­coMimet­ics Inc. 1/20/14 $56,000,000 $8.00
Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer speaks at a meeting with President Donald Trump, members of the Coronavirus Task Force, and pharmaceutical executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

OWS shifts spot­light to drugs to fight Covid-19, hand­ing Re­gen­eron $450M to be­gin large scale man­u­fac­tur­ing in the US

The US government is on a spending spree. And after committing billions to vaccines defense operations are now doling out more of the big bucks through Operation Warp Speed to back a rapid flip of a drug into the market to stop Covid-19 from ravaging patients — possibly inside of 2 months.

The beneficiary this morning is Regeneron, the big biotech engaged in a frenzied race to develop an antibody cocktail called REGN-COV2 that just started a late-stage program to prove its worth in fighting the virus. BARDA and the Department of Defense are awarding Regeneron a $450 million contract to cover bulk delivery of the cocktail starting as early as late summer, with money added for fill/finish and storage activities.

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Douglas Love, Annexon CEO (Annexon)

IPO bound? Ac­tu­al­ly, An­nex­on was al­ready prepped and primed to toss its S-1 to Wall Street as in­vestors ral­lied

The Wall Street IPO shuffle generally calls for a little distance between the crossover ante and the Wall Street double, but with the window on the street wide open and biotech sizzling hot, who’s waiting?

The crew at Annexon didn’t leave anyone in suspense for long about their IPO plans. A day after the Bay Area biotech with clinical plans to target neurodegeneration quietly unveiled a $100 million raise, they were back with an S-1 outlining a pitch to double that — or more.

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David Hallal

AlloVir tests how much an an­tivi­ral biotech can reap in a pan­dem­ic stock mar­ket

The pandemic stock market has proven fruitful for virtually any type of biotech. Now a 7-year-old cell therapy startup will see how much it can yield for a company that specializes in fighting viruses.

AlloVir, a company that until 2019 largely lived off grant money, has filed for a $100 million IPO to back its line of off-the-shelf, virus-fighting T cells. Although in normal circumstances, $100 million could be a solid return for a biotech that got its first major round of funding only last year, we’ll have to wait to see how much the company ultimately earns. As Covid-19 has sent investor money scurrying to almost anyone in drug development, every single biotech to go public this year has prized above their midpoint or upsized their offering, according to Renaissance Capital, sometimes dramatically so.

Noubar Afeyan, Flagship CEO and Tessera chairman (Victor Boyko/Getty Images)

Flag­ship ex­ecs take a les­son from na­ture to mas­ter ‘gene writ­ing,’ launch­ing a star-stud­ded biotech with big am­bi­tions to cure dis­ease

Flagship Pioneering has opened up its deep pockets to fund a biotech upstart out to revolutionize the whole gene therapy/gene editing field — before gene editing has even made it to the market. And they’ve surrounded themselves with some marquee scientists and execs who have crowded around to help shepherd the technology ahead.

The lead player here is Flagship general partner Geoff von Maltzahn, an MIT-trained synthetic biologist who set out in 2018 to do CRISPR — a widely used gene editing tool — and other rival technologies one or two better. Von Maltzahn has been working with Sana co-founder Jake Rubens, another synthetic biology player out of MIT who he describes as his “superstar,” who’s taken the CSO role.

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Covid-19 roundup: Squab­bles with gov­ern­ment de­lay Mod­er­na’s PhI­II — re­ports; No­vavax se­cures largest Warp Speed deal yet: $1.6B

A much-anticipated Phase III trial for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is being held up as the company delayed submitting trial protocols and sparred with government scientists on how to run the study and even what the benchmark for success should be, Reuters reported.

Moderna, the first US company to put their vaccine into human testing, was supposed to enter a 30,000-person study this month in partnership with the NIH to determine whether it can prevent infection. STAT reported last week that the trial was facing delays over the protocol, but that a July start was still possible. Neither the NIH nor Moderna ever disclosed a specific date the trial should start, but Reuters reported that the agency had hoped to begin on July 10.

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Donald and Melania Trump watch the smoke of fireworks from the South Lawn of the White House on July 4, 2020 (via Getty)

Which drug de­vel­op­ers of­fer Trump a quick, game-chang­ing ‘so­lu­tion’ as the pan­dem­ic roars back? Eli Lil­ly and Ab­Cellera look to break out of the pack

We are unleashing our nation’s scientific brilliance and will likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year.

— Donald Trump, July 4

Next week administration officials plan to promote a new study they say shows promising results on therapeutics, the officials said. They wouldn’t describe the study in any further detail because, they said, its disclosure would be “market-moving.”

— NBC News, July 3

Something’s cooking. And it’s not just July 4 leftovers involving stale buns and uneaten hot dogs.

Over the long weekend observers picked up signs that the focus in the Trump administration may swiftly shift from the bright spotlight on vaccines being promised this fall, around the time of the election, to include drugs that could possibly keep patients out of the hospital and take the political sting out of the soaring Covid-19 numbers causing embarrassment in states that swiftly reopened — as Trump cheered along.

So far, Gilead has been the chief beneficiary of the drive on drugs, swiftly offering enough early data to get remdesivir an emergency authorization and into the hands of the US government. But their drug, while helpful in cutting stays, is known for a limited, modest effect. And that won’t tamp down on the hurricane of criticism that’s been tearing at the White House, and buffeting the president’s most stalwart core defenders as the economy suffers.

We’ve had positive early-stage vaccine data, most recently from Pfizer and BioNTech, playing catchup on an mRNA race led by Moderna — where every little sign of potential trouble is magnified into a lethal threat, just as every advance excites a frenzy of support. But that race still has months to play out, with more Phase I data due ahead of the mid-stage numbers looming ahead. A vaccine may not be available in large enough quantities until well into 2021, which is still wildly ambitious.

So what about a drug solution?

Trump’s initial support for a panacea focused on hydroxychloroquine. But that fizzled in the face of data underscoring its ineffectiveness — killing trials that aren’t likely to be restarted because of a recent population-based study offering some support. And there are a number of existing drugs being repurposed to see how they help hospitalized patients.

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Cel­lec­tis slammed af­ter pa­tient dies and FDA slaps a hold on their tri­al for an off-the-shelf CAR-T for mul­ti­ple myelo­ma

Cellectis was slammed after the market close on Monday as the biotech reported that the FDA demanded it hit the brakes on their MELANI-01 trial for their off-the-shelf cell therapy UCARTCS1A after one of the patients in the study died of treatment-related cardiac arrest.

The multiple myeloma patient had previously been treated unsuccessfully with various therapies, noted the biotech, and had been given dose level two (DL2) of their allogeneic CAR-T.

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Shoshanna Shendelman, Applied Therapeutics CEO (Applied Therapeutics)

A lit­tle biotech slaps back at a 'crim­i­nal' short at­tack, vow­ing to pur­sue a pros­e­cu­tion of their case

As short attacks go, Biotech Research Partners’ assault on Applied Therapeutics’ “cherry picked” data and a variety of so-called red flags didn’t cause a whole lot of damage. Ahead of the July 4 holiday, its shares $APLT were dinged and showed signs of quick recovery.

But that didn’t stop an incendiary response, as the biotech swung into action bright and early Monday morning.

Applied Therapeutics accused the authors of the short report of manipulating graphs and figures, misrepresenting data and included factual misrepresentations — all of which added up, in their view, to fraud.

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Bill Haney, Dragonfly CEO (Dave Pedley/Getty Images for SXSW)

A boom­ing Drag­on­fly is tak­ing its TriN­KETs to Copen­hagen as the lat­est Bris­tol My­ers pact spurs ex­pan­sion plans — out­side the US

Bristol Myers Squibb is making a habit out of collaborating with the crew at Dragonfly, adding their 3rd deal in a series that now will take them into newly charted R&D territory. And the fast-growing team at the Cambridge-based biotech is adding a facility in Copenhagen for its next growth spurt, where the government is making it easy to recruit scientists internationally as the U.S. throttles back.

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