2018 was a record year for biopharma initial public offerings (IPOs), with an all-time high of $6.3 billion raised by 58 U.S. companies as of December 17, according to Renaissance Capital, compared with 36 companies garnering some $4 billion in 2017.
But with the broader stock market reeling in recent weeks from investor jitters over U.S. trade policy and the direction of China’s economy, it remains to be seen whether 2019’s IPO market will be as red-hot as this past year’s proved to be.
One key reason why 2018 was such a strong year for IPOs was the wave of China-based biopharmas that flocked to the Hong Kong Exchange after it enacted new rules allowing trading by pre-revenue companies.
Brad Loncar, CEO of Loncar Investments, who tracks developments in cancer immunotherapy and the broader biopharma industry, recorded 17 biopharmas as filing for IPOs in Hong Kong in 2018, of which six followed through and carried out their initial sales of shares to investors. Those numbers include BeiGene, which on August 8 announced it had raised HK$7.08 billion ($903 million) on the Hong Kong Exchange by selling 65.6 million shares at HK$108 ($13.78) per share. However, BeiGene first went public in 2016 on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, explaining why BeiGene was not included in GEN’s ranking.
Below is a list of the 10 largest biotech IPOs that were completed, or at least began trading shares, during 2018, ranked by size of proceeds (usually 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.
This year’s top 10 IPOs raised a combined $4.265 billion in net proceeds—up 47% from the $2.899 billion in net proceeds collected by the 10 companies that topped GEN’s 2017 IPO list. All 10 companies on this year’s list raised more than $200 million in net proceeds, compared with five of the top 10 of 2017. China-based biopharmas accounted for four of the top 5 IPOs in 2018, versus one of the top five (and two of the two-10) in 2017.
Not included on this list 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.
Also, because GEN does not cover animal therapeutics, the list does not include Elanco Animal Health, the Eli Lilly spinout that raised net proceeds of approximately $1.7 billion from its IPO, in which it sold 72.335 million shares at $24 a share—including the exercise in full by underwriters of 9.435 million shares at the IPO price.
10. Orchard Therapeutics
Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (ORTX)
Amount: $205.56 million in estimated net proceeds 1
Date: October 31
Shares/Price per share: 16,103,572 ADSs at $14 per ADS. 1
Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (TCDA)
Amount: Approximately $237.7 million in net proceeds 2
Date: June 28
Shares/Price per share: 13,455,000 shares at $19 2
8. Guardant Health
Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market
Amount: Approximately $249.5 million in net proceeds 3
Date: October 4
Shares/Price per share: 14,375,000 shares at $19 3
7. Rubius Therapeutics
Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (RUBY)
Amount: $254.3 million in net proceeds 4
Date: July 18
Shares/Price per share: 12,055,450 shares at $23 4
6. Allogene Therapeutics
Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (ALLO)
Amount: Approximately $343.0 million in net proceeds 5
Date: October 11
Shares/Price per share: 20.7 million shares at $18 5
5. Ascletis Pharma
Market (Symbol): Hong Kong Exchange (1672)
Amount: HK$ 2.976 billion ($379.85 million) in estimated net proceeds 6
Date: August 1
Shares/Price per share: 224,137,000 shares at HK$14 ($1.79) 6
4. Shanghai Junshi Biosciences
Market (Symbol): Hong Kong Exchange (1877)
Amount: Approximately HK$3.021 billion ($385.61 million) in estimated net proceeds 7
Date: December 24
Shares/Price per share: 158,910,000 shares at HK$19.38 ($2.47) 7
3. Innovent Biologics
Market (Symbol): Hong Kong Exchange (1801)
Amount: HK$3.155 billion ($402.7 million) in net proceeds 8
Date: October 31
Shares/Price per share: 236.35 million shares at HK$ 13.98 ($1.78) 8
Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (MRNA)
Amount: Approximately $564.1 million in estimated net proceeds 9
Date: December 7
Shares/Price per share: 26,275,993 shares at $23 9
1. WuXi AppTec
Markets (Symbols): Hong Kong Exchange (2359); Shanghai Stock Exchange (603259)
Amount: $1.292 billion in combined proceeds, consisting of approximately HK$7.553 billion ($964.14 million) in net proceeds raised in Hong Kong, and RMB 2.251 billion ($328.0 million) in gross proceeds raised in Shanghai 10,11
Dates: December 13 (Hong Kong); May 7 (Shanghai)
Shares/Price per share: 116.47 million shares at HK$68 ($8.68; Hong Kong); 104,198,600 shares at RMB 21.60 ($3.15; Shanghai) 10,11
1. Includes partial exercise by underwriters of the overallotment option for an additional 1,817,857 shares at the IPO price. The underwriters could have purchased up to an additional 2,142,857 shares at the IPO price. Had the underwriters exercised that option in full, Orchard Therapeutics has estimated it would have gained approximately $209.8 million in net proceeds in its prospectus, in which the company also estimated its net proceeds for the original offer at $181.9 million. The furnished estimate consists of the original estimate plus 84.8% of the difference between the two estimates, since the overallotment was 84.8% of the potential total.
$27.9M = difference between the two net proceeds numbers
84.8M of $27.9M = $23.6592
2. Includes an additional 1,755,000 shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day overallotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share. Company disclosed its net proceeds in its Form 10-Q report of results for the second quarter of 2018, filed August 10.
3. Includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their overallotment option to purchase up to 1,875,450 additional shares of common stock from the Company at the IPO price. Guardant Health disclosed net proceeds in an October 9 press release.
4. Includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their overallotment option to purchase up to 1,572,450 additional shares of common stock from the Company at the IPO price.
5. Includes an additional 2.7 million shares, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day overallotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share. Allogene disclosed its net proceeds in its Form 10-Q announcing third quarter 2018 results, filed November 21.
6. IPO consists of an international offering of 201,723,000 shares, and a Hong Kong public offering of 22,414,000 shares. Company offered its net proceeds estimate in its prospectus.
7. IPO consists of an international offering of 143,018,000 shares, and a Hong Kong public offering of 15,892,000 shares. Company offered its net proceeds estimate in its prospectus.
8. IPO consists of an International offering of 212,715,000 shares, and a Hong Kong public offering of 23,635,000 shares. Net proceeds figure was disclosed on October 31 as $403.1 million by Davis Polk, which advised the underwriters and joint global coordinators in the IPO. The figure was lowered since then to reflect currency fluctuations.
9. Company has not disclosed updated information about its IPO since December 7. As a result, it was not known at deadline if the offering included any or all of the 3,941,398 additional shares of common stock which Moderna has granted its underwriters a 30-day option to purchase at the IPO price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. Should the option be exercised in full, Moderna has estimated in its prospectus, the net proceeds from the IPO would rise from approximately $564.1 million, to approximately $649.8 million.
10. WuXi AppTec is dually listed after completing two IPOs in 2018, on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges. The figures for the amount and number of shares in Hong Kong do not include an additional 17.5 million shares of common stock which WuXi AppTec has granted its IPO underwriters the option to buy to at the IPO price. At deadline, the company had not disclosed whether any of all of those shares had been sold. In a December 13 press release, the Company furnished an estimated net proceeds figure for the Hong Kong IPO that assumed the overallotment option was not exercised.
11. In GEN’s list of Top 10 Biopharma IPOs of January-June 2018, the net proceeds from the company’s Shanghai IPO were reported at $339.4 million. The lower Shanghai figure reported with this list reflects the change since then in the exchange rate of the renminbi compared to the U.S. dollar.