Copenhagen-based Zealand Pharma is following a clearly blazed trail from Europe to Nasdaq in search of an IPO that can help fund a pair of late-stage drugs.
Zealand outlicensed lixisenatide to Sanofi and now has high hopes for two drugs headed into Phase III testing. The biotech, though, will have considerable explaining to do to woo investors to their Nasdaq play. A month ago the Swiss biotech returned rights to elsiglutide for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea after it failed a key Phase IIb study last year.
Zealand has had more success with dasiglucagon, a stable glucagon analog that Zealand has now hustled into a Phase III study as a rescue therapy for severe hypoglycemia.
Another drug, glepaglutide, also recently wrapped a Phase II study for patients with short bowel syndrome. A few weeks ago the company said that the drug had met the primary endpoint — reducing fecal wet weight output — in SBS, setting up a Phase III expected to start next year.
We’re now in the middle of a brisk run of new biotech IPOs, as execs get more enthused by a hot market and the examples of some stellar offerings that have hit in recent weeks. It’s not like the go-go years of 2013 and 2014, but after a lengthy lean stretch the market is now once again pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into new companies. There are no guarantees how long this window will stay open, so look for more filings in the days ahead as biotech CEOs dust off their IPOs and head out for a road show.
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