IPO biotech ball keeps on rolling
05.03.2015 - The IPO wave in the biotech sector shows no signs of slowing down. An Irish life sciences fund set up by former Elan executives plans to raise €325m with its IPO, whilst Summit Therapeutics has announced its IPO pricing of US$34m on Nasdaq.
Former Elan executives have set up a life sciences fund with the aim of raising between €275m and €325m to finance privately held life science assets in what Reuters and the Irish times call “one of Europe’s biggest biotechnology IPOs”. Elan CEO Kelly Martin and chairman Bob Ingram established the fund called Malin with fellow Elan executives and board members Kieran McGowan and John Given. In 2013, the Ireland-based pharma Elan merged with Perrigo to become Perrigo Company PLC for US$8.6bn (€7.8). Martin and Ingram will sit on the board of the new company and plan to raise the money from investors, some of which have already committed a “substantial proportion” to the sum, the company said in a pre-admission notice on Friday 27th February. Malin will use the money to invest in developers of drugs, medical devices and diagnostics.
The ex-Elan execs are certainly not ones to let the grass grow under their feet. Since setting up the company, they have scored provisional investment deals with seven companies including the Cambridge-based UK monoclonal antibody developer Kymab that last year raised US$40m (€36.4) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. So far, Malin has designated €100m plus a further €120m in follow-on money, to invest in the businesses.
Another biotech company gathering no moss is Summit Therapeutics. Already listed on London’s AIM, the UK-based company set its sights on bigger things. Last month, it filed on the other side of the pond on Nasdaq, and moved about 3.5 million shares at US$9.90 (€9) each. Raising a cool US$34m (€31), Summit fell just slightly short of raising its US$40m (€36) target. The proceeds will go towards financing an ongoing Phase 1b study of its small molecule utrophin modulator SMT C1100, an oral treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), as well as help pay for its mid-stage work on a drug for Clostridium difficile infection.
It seems 2015 has picked up where 2014 ended – the biotech euphoria in Europe shows no sign of abating as the surge of European biotech IPOs continue.