BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Vivalis raised €40.4 million in an initial public offering on Eurolist Compartment C of the Euronext stock exchange in Paris, which closed June 27.

With the open-price offering oversubscribed six times and the global placement oversubscribed 7.5 times, the Nantes, France-based company set the offer price at €10.51 per share, the top end of the indicative price range.

The IPO was for a total of 3.8 million shares after the exercise of the extension clause (but before the overallotment option offered to the underwriters), corresponding to 26.7 percent of the company's post-IPO share capital. They consisted of 2.76 million new shares worth €29 million and 1.8 million existing shares (including the 391,000 of the extension clause) worth €11.4 million.

The lead manager and bookrunner for the offering was Natixis, of Paris.

Vivalis, which was founded in 1999, is specialized in the development of vaccines and therapeutics for viral diseases. In particular, it has developed a cell line called EBx that is derived from embryonic avian stem cells, which it licenses out to biopharmaceutical companies for the development and manufacturing of vaccines.

It also has developed expression systems for recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies, which it licenses out to third parties in conjunction with the EBx cell line for the production of recombinant vaccines. In addition, it has a pipeline of proprietary vaccine candidates and antiviral compounds that it has identified using its 3D-Screen platform.

Prior to the IPO, Vivalis had concluded several licensing agreements. In June it granted a non-exclusive worldwide license to the Australian company CSL, of Parkville, Victoria, for the development and marketing of human influenza vaccines based on its EBx cell lines. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Vivalis received an up-front payment and is eligible for development milestones and royalties on sales of vaccine products.

In January, moreover, the French company signed a similar license agreement with Nobilon, a subsidiary of Organon BioSciences, the Human Health Business Unit of Akzo Nobel, of Arnhem, the Netherlands, for the use of its EBx cell lines in the development of human influenza vaccines.

Vivalis also is involved in research collaborations with leading European pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi Pasteur, of Paris, GlaxoSmithKline, of London, and Novartis Vaccines, of Basel, Switzerland.