Danish firm Genmab A/S, which is developing fully human monoclonal antibodies for treatment of cancer and chronic inflammatory conditions, is seeking up to EUR240 million (US$211 million) in a dual listing on Germany's Neuer Markt and the Copenhagen Stock Exchange on Oct. 18.

Genmab is offering 6 million shares, priced at EUR34 to EUR40. The subscription period, which opened Monday, closes Oct. 10. Commerzbank AG and UBS Warburg AG, of Zurich, Switzerland, are joint sponsors of the flotation and, along with Carnegie Bank, co-lead managers.

If successful, this transaction would be Europe's largest biotechnology listing to date, surpassing the other big IPOs this year by Lion BioSciences AG, of Heidelberg, Germany, which raised US$181 million on the Neuer Markt and Nasdaq in July; Zeltia S.A., of Madrid, which raised US$172 million on the Paris Bourse a week earlier; and Actelion Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, which raised CHF260 million (US$150.3 million) on the Swiss Stock Exchange in April. It also represents the first ever dual listing on the Neuer Markt and Copenhagen exchanges.

The move was prompted by a recognition that the Neuer Markt is becoming Europe's equivalent of Nasdaq, Genmab CEO Lisa Drakeman told BioWorld International. "We thought it was very important to participate in that," she said.

Genmab was established in February last year by a group of Danish investors and Medarex Inc., of Princeton, N.J., which has licensed to Genmab its HuMab-Mouse technology for generating fully human monoclonal antibodies. Drakeman formerly was senior vice president and head of business development at the U.S. firm.

Genmab has raised US$60 million to date, including a US$40.5 million financing round in June, led by Index Ventures, of Geneva, Switzerland. It will use the proceeds of the upcoming listing to fund alliances with genomics companies and take in additional targets. It also plans to acquire manufacturing capability, said company spokesman Michael Wolff Jensen.

Genmab currently has one drug candidate - for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis - in clinical trials. HuMax-CD4, a high-affinity monoclonal antibody that binds CD4 T-cell receptors, is undergoing Phase I/II studies at three sites in Denmark. It also is developing antibodies to the cytokine interleukin-15, under license from Immunex Corp., of Seattle. This target is linked to several inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease. Two preclinical programs for cancer are also under way.