IPOs

TiGenix’s second stab at an IPO bags $36M for late-stage stem cell plans

Belgian biotech TiGenix has finally pulled off an IPO on Nasdaq. The stem cell player had to retrieve an offering that had been shelved last spring as the market proved chilly to newcomers.

While the market hasn’t improved much over the course of the year, cooling off considerably after the 2013-2015 IPO boom, Tigenix lowered its sights and made off with a $36 million raise after selling 2.3 million shares at 15.50 — a significant discount off its price on the Brussels exchange.

TiGenix main attraction has been its positive Phase III data for the Crohn’s drug Cx601, designed to treat complex perianal fistulas. Takeda stepped in to license ex-US rights in a $434 million deal earlier this year.

That good news made for an excellent opportunity for TiGenix to simultaneously retreat from its personalized cartilage repair therapy ChondroCelect, which never gained market traction.

TiGenix filed Cx601 for European approval back in March, setting up the deal with Takeda that includes a $27.5 million upfront, $16.5 million for an upcoming equity investment and another $390 million in milestones. The first of those milestones will be $11 million – provided European regulators approve the therapy. Another Phase III is slated to launch in early 2017, which is designed to serve for an FDA application.

Stem cell therapies have offered a series of bitter setbacks over the years. Once seen as a natural and promising way to heal nature’s wounds, a slate of companies tried and failed to develop new treatments with the tech. TiGenix claimed pioneering rights with the OK for ChondroCelect, its autologous (derived from patient cells) approach to knee damage. By the time the company filed for a $58 million IPO late last year, it barely warranted a mention in the F-1.


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