After bouncing back last year both in dollars raised and number of deals, the initial public offering (IPO) market was expected to at least approach that success this year.

Instead, the 2019 market for first-time public issues of biopharma stock has had its ups, and mostly downs. For U.S. and Western exchanges, a relatively quiet first quarter has been followed by a busier second quarter, according to Evaluate: Q1 saw 13 IPOs totaling $1.04 billion, followed by 20 IPOs totaling $1.952 in Q2.

Top 10 Biopharma IPOs of January–June 2019But the soft first quarter was enough to make January–June 2019 a down year compared with 2018—down 6% in number of offerings, and down 14% in their value. This year’s 33 offerings totaling $2.992 billion pale behind the 35 offerings totaling $3.484 billion seen in the first six months of last year.

Evaluate blamed the Q1 slowdown on the January U.S. government shutdown and investor skittishness after last October’s global equity sell-off. EY offered additional reasons: Investor worries in Europe over Brexit and the successes of progressive and populist candidates over centrist rivals in May’s European Parliament elections, as well as ongoing geopolitical tensions, including trade issues, affecting the U.S., the EU, and China.

Europe’s largest biopharma IPO, that of Genfit, just missed this year’s list, as its combined offering of American Depositary Shares and a private placement ranked No. 11, with €125.1 million ($140.2 million) in estimated net proceeds.

In China, biopharmas flocked to the Hong Kong Exchange last year after it enacted new rules allowing trading by pre-revenue companies. But falling prices of newly-public companies and continued trade tensions have helped slow down activity there this year: Brad Loncar, CEO of Loncar Investments, who tracks developments in cancer immunotherapy and the broader biopharma industry, records six biopharma IPO listings in Hong Kong this year, compared with 16 last year.

It’s hard to detect overall market skittishness by simply looking at the top 10 IPOs of 1H 2019, which raised a combined $3.142 billion in net proceeds—up 75% from the $1.797 billion in net proceeds collected by the 10 companies that topped GEN’s A-List of Top 10 Biopharma IPOs of January–June 2018. However, this year’s A-List is skewed by the nearly $1 billion raised by the Chinese company atop the list.

On a brighter note, Bloomberg columnist Max Nisen noted that the week of June 18 saw the largest number of biopharma IPOs gearing up to go public in three years, six companies totaling $601.7 million. “This is as good a time as any to raise money,” Nisen observed. “While bigger biotechs are struggling, investors seem willing to invest in promising smaller companies.”

Below is a list of the 10 largest biotech IPOs that were completed, or at least began trading shares, during the first half of 2019, ranked by size of net proceeds. Each IPO is listed by name of company, amount raised, date of listing, number of shares sold, price per share, trading symbol, and market(s) where shares are traded. Non-U.S. currency has been converted to U.S. dollars.

Not included are pending IPOs that have been filed by companies but have yet to be priced or commence trading, as well as IPOs that have been publicly discussed—whether by executives or in news reports—but not yet filed.

All 10 companies on this year’s list raised more than $140 million in net proceeds, compared with seven of the top 10 of January–June 2018. China-based biopharmas accounted for three of the top 5 (and five of the top 10) IPOs in the first half of this year, versus a single company in 1H 2018.

Chinese IPO activity can be expected to increase during the second half once the first 25 companies make their debuts on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Science and Technology Innovation Board or “Star” market on July 22. Among companies pursuing IPOs on the Star is Shanghai Junshi Biosciences, which in December generated approximately HK$3.021 billion ($386.7 million) in estimated net proceeds through a Hong Kong Exchange IPO.

 

 
Rank Company
10. Tianjin CanSino Biologics Market (Symbol): Hong Kong Exchange (6185)

Amount: HK$1.246 billion ($159.7 million) in estimated net proceeds 1

Date: March 28

Shares/Price per share: 61,699,000 shares at HK$22 ($2.82) 1

9. Alector  

Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (ALEC)

Amount: $168.2 million in aggregate net proceeds 2

Date: February 7

Shares/Price per share: 9,739,541 shares at $19 2

8. Turning Point Therapeutics Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Market (TPTX)

Amount: Approximately $175.2 million in net proceeds 3

Date: April 17

Shares/Price per share: 10,637,500 shares at $18 3

7. Viva Biotech Holdings Market (Symbol): Hong Kong Exchange (1873)

Amount: HK$1.404 billion ($179.9 million) in net proceeds 4

Date: May 10

Shares/Price per share: 352,281,000 shares at HK$4.41 (57 cents) 4

6. Frontage Holdings Market (Symbol): Hong Kong Exchange (1521)

Amount: HK$1.515 billion ($193.7 million) in net proceeds 5

Date: May 30

Shares/Price per share: 501,910,000 shares at HK$3.20 (41 cents) 5

5. Gossamer Bio Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (GOSS)

Amount: $291.3 million in net proceeds 6

Date: February 8

Shares/Price per share: 19,837,500 shares at $16 6

4. CStone Pharma Market (Symbol): Hong Kong Exchange (2616)

Amount: HK$2.410 billion ($309.1 million) in net proceeds 7

Date: February 26

Shares/Price per share: 214,355,000 shares at HK$12.00 ($1.54) 7

3. Adaptive Biotechnologies Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (ADPT)

Amount: $316.7 million in estimated net proceeds 8

Date: June 27

Shares/Price per share: 17.25 million shares at $20 8

2. BridgeBio Pharma Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (BBIO)

Amount: $367.1 million estimated net proceeds 9

Date: June 27

Shares/Price per share: 23,575,000 shares at $17 9

1. Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group Market (Symbol): Hong Kong Exchange (3692)

Amount: $980.9 million estimated net proceeds 10

Date: June 14

Shares/Price per share: 551.28 million shares at HK$14.26 ($1.83) 10

 

 

1. Includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their overallotment option to purchase up to 4,450,400 additional H shares from the company at the IPO price. Tianjin CanSino Biologics disclosed estimated net proceeds in a regulatory filing.

2. Includes partial exercise by underwriters of the overallotment option for an additional 489,541 shares at the IPO price. The underwriters could have purchased up to an additional 1,387,500 shares at the IPO price.  Had the underwriters exercised that option in full, Alector has estimated it would have gained approximately $184.4 million in net proceeds in its prospectus, in which the company also estimated its net proceeds for the original offer at $159.8 million. Alector disclosed net proceeds in its Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2019, filed May 13.

3. Includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their overallotment option to purchase up to 1,387,500 additional shares of common stock from the company at the IPO price. Turning Point Therapeutics disclosed net proceeds in its Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2019, filed May 31.

4. Includes partial exercise by underwriters of the overallotment option for an additional 7,281,000 shares at the IPO price. The underwriters could have purchased up to an additional 51,750,000 shares at the IPO price.  Had the underwriters exercised that option in full, Viva Biotech would have gained approximately HK$1.554 billion ($198.9 million) in gross proceeds; a figure for estimated net proceeds was not available. According to its prospectus, Viva Biotech estimated its net proceeds for the original offer at HK$1.372 billion ($175.6 million).

5. Frontage Holdings had granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 75,286,000 shares of its common stock at the initial public offering price less underwriting discounts and commissions. Information on the status of the overallotment option was not available at deadline.

6. Includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their overallotment option to purchase up to 2,587,500 additional shares of common stock from the company at the IPO price. Gossamer Bio disclosed its net proceeds in its Form 10-Q announcing first quarter 2019 results, filed May 14.

7. Includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their overallotment option to purchase up to 27,959,000 additional shares from the company at the IPO price. CStone Pharma disclosed the full exercise and the resulting net proceeds in a March 21 regulatory filing.

8. Includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their overallotment option to purchase up to 2.25 million additional shares of common stock from the company at the IPO price. Adaptive Biotechnologies disclosed estimated net proceeds in its IPO prospectus, filed June 27.

9. Includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their overallotment option to purchase up to 3,075,000 additional shares of common stock from the company at the IPO price. BridgeBio Pharma disclosed full exercise in a July 3 Form 8-K regulatory filing. Estimated net proceeds were disclosed in the company’s IPO prospectus, filed June 28.

10. Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group had granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 82,692,000 shares of its common stock at the initial public offering price less underwriting discounts and commissions. Information on the status of the overallotment option was not available at deadline. Should the option be exercised in full, Hansoh has estimated in its prospectus, the net proceeds from the IPO would rise from $980.9 million to $1.13 billion.

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