Inventisbio Co. Ltd. has raised ¥2.084 billion (US$296 million) in an IPO on Shanghai’s STAR Market priced at ¥18.12 per share, though its stock saw a disappointing debut, opening at ¥14 per share on the first trading day July 25 and closing at $15.29, for a drop of 15.6%. The stock closed Aug. 1 at ¥14.42.
Barely a month after signing a €1 billion-plus deal with Menarini Group for cholesterol-lowering drug obicetrapib, Newamsterdam Pharma BV has struck a $235 million SPAC merger deal that will see the biotech list on Nasdaq in late 2022. The deal will finance phase III development and potential regulatory filings of the drug once dropped by Amgen Inc. as big pharma turned away from the cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitor drug class around five years ago.
European biotechnology firms engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutics raised up to $2.15 billion in disclosed equity transactions during the second quarter, a drop of 36% on the same period of 2021. The closure of the IPO window was a major factor in the decline, but the completion of two sizeable special purpose acquisition company deals made up some of the shortfall. Listed firms raised slightly more in Q2 2022 than they did in the same period last year. Venture capital, although the single biggest source of equity funding during the quarter, was also down on the same period last year.
A tightening of rules for biotech listings on the Shanghai STAR Market may have contributed to a visible cool-down in biotech IPOs, with fewer listings in Chinese stock markets in the first half of 2022.
The music still goes on for biotech investment – it’s just not as loud and vibrant as it was during the heady days of 2020 and 2021, according to experts at this year’s LSX World Congress in London. After the rush to invest in biotech during the last two years, it has become an uphill battle to raise money – but the message from several panel experts at the event is that there is still hope.
IPOs continue to be sluggish but two companies, Pepgen Inc. and Bausch & Lomb Corp., that began trading May 6 managed to sidestep the turbulence despite having to lower their expectations before the market opened. Pepgen stock (NASDAQ:PEPG) closed at $12.89 per share May 6, up 7.4% on the day. Bausch & Lomb also had a solid IPO launch May 6 as shares (NYSE:BLCO) closed 11.1% upward at $20 each.
As many biopharmas rethink plans to go public on less-than-welcoming U.S. markets, Hillevax Inc. forged ahead, pricing an upsized IPO April 28, offering 11.8 million shares at $17 apiece, the midpoint of its previously proposed range, for gross proceeds of about $200 million. That’s the highest amount raised in a U.S. IPO so far in 2022, which saw only nine companies go public on Nasdaq during the first quarter.
Biopharma financings for the first quarter of 2022 are at a five-year low, with 65.8% less money and 53% fewer transactions than a year ago. The industry raised $13.1 billion through 249 financings, compared with $38.3 billion from 529 transactions in 2021.
European biotechnology firms engaged in drug discovery and development raised $1.96 billion in equity investment during the first quarter. That tally represents a drop of 67% on the $5.888 billion invested during the same quarter of 2021, when the COVID-19 crisis drove global and European biotechnology investing to unprecedented levels.
Less than a year after winning approval in China for the first domestically developed antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), Remegen Co. Ltd. raised ¥2.6 billion (US$410 million) and picked up a listing on the Shanghai STAR market to support further work on its monoclonal antibodies and ADCs.