With a 349% increase in stock price since its June debut on U.S. markets, Boston-based Karuna Therapeutics Inc. secures the title of best IPO performer so far in 2019. The stock skyrocketed in November following positive top-line phase II data of Karxt in acute psychosis in patients with schizophrenia, providing a potential read-through to larger indications such as Alzheimer’s disease and pain.
Roughly 40 years after Bio-Response launched the first-ever biotech IPO, three companies priced IPOs on Friday, riding a wave of momentum that has put 2019 into second place for the most IPO money raised in a single year. Only 2018's record $10.7 billion is beyond this year's total: 54 global IPOs raising $7.98 billion.
Even priced at a bottom-of-range $20, shares of Vir Biotechnology Inc. (NASDAQ:VIR) fell 30% to $14.02 in the first day of trading after the infectious disease specialist priced a $142.9 million IPO, intended to back its development of medicines targeting hepatitis B virus, influenza A, HIV and tuberculosis. The company, led by former Biogen Inc. CEO George Scangos, is largely owned by Arch Venture Partners and Softbank's Vision Fund.
In the third quarter, global biopharmaceutical companies collectively raised more than $12 billion from public and private transactions. Year to date (YTD), the sector has generated $41.5 billion, according to BioWorld data, putting it on track for a $55 billion haul for the year.
HONG KONG & BEIJING – Chinese biosimilar maker Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc. is ready to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on its second try. The firm plans to issue 64.7 million shares globally under the stock code 2696. The maximum offer price is HK$57.8 per share, which means the biosimilar maker could raise as much as HK$3.74 billion (US$477 million).
Although investor sentiment continues to remain low and unlikely to change for the remainder of the year, it seems that fact has fallen on deaf ears of those companies looking to graduate to the public ranks. Already in the first few days of September, five biopharma companies have added themselves to the IPO runway, bringing the number of pending U.S. offerings to 12, according to BioWorld.
DUBLIN – To no one's great surprise, the underwriters of Genmab A/S's IPO on Nasdaq exercised their overallotment option, the company announced Friday, taking the total gross to $581.8 million. The Copenhagen-based antibody developer priced the offering of about 32.8 million American depositary shares at $17.75 Thursday. The stock (NASDAQ:GMAB) ended the week at $18.10.
Despite the ups and downs of the general markets and a U.S. government shutdown at the beginning of the year that contributed to no biopharma companies graduating to the public ranks in January, the enthusiasm for biopharma IPOs has remained steady since then. In fact, a flurry of IPO listings on U.S. stock exchanges last month helped bring the total of those offerings to 30 at the halfway point in the year.