18.10.2014 - After raising US$220.5m (€172m) with its IPO, fast Forward Pharma’s lucky streak hits an obstacle on the road to success with shares falling 17% on its first day of trading.
Forward Pharma’s IPO was one of the largest biotech IPOs in more than ten years. The Danish biopharma company raised a total of US$220.5m with an IPO on NASDAQ this month from the sale of 10.5 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at $21 – an increase of one million shares from its original plan. In August, it filed to raise US$200m (€156) in an IPO, and in October announced its offering of 9.5 million ADSs at of US$20-22 (€16-€17). However, on the first day of trading, the share price fell to US$17.50 (€14) – a decrease of 17%.
The biotech company focuses on drug development for the treatment of immune diseases. Its lead drug candidate is FP187, a patented controlled release tablet based on the small molecule dimethylfumarate (DMF) to potentially treat immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and psoriasis. DMF is thought to interact with T cells and dendritic cells in the gut inducing an anti-inflammatory cellular and cytokine profile. Additionally, the non-immunosuppressive compound is said to have cytoprotective effects.
Among other things, Forward Pharma plans to use the money to begin Phase III trials of FP187 in relapsing-remitting MS by the end of the year. Next year the company plans to start Phase III trials of the compound for the treatment to severe plaque psoriasis. If the phase III trials are completed, the price of the ADSs should go up considerably.