Top 25 Biopharma IPOs of 2017

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Alex Philippidis Senior News Editor Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

First-Time Public Companies Find Smooth Sailing at Year’s End

Denali Therapeutics showed just how healthy the initial public offering (IPO) market has been, as 2017 comes to a close.

The South San Francisco, CA–based drug developer has yet to advance a drug past Phase I. Its lead candidate DNL201 is in early stage studies for Parkinson’s disease, and a second Parkinson’s candidate (DNL151) won approval from the Netherlands Health Authority last month for a Clinical Trial Application to begin a safety study. Also during the first half of 2018, Denali hopes to launch a Phase I study for its Alzheimer’s disease/ALS candidate DNL747 as well.

But, Denali’s absence of later-stage pipeline candidates didn’t stop investors from flocking to its first public sale of shares, which generated $229 million in net proceeds—not to mention numerous erroneous headlines hyping Denali’s IPO as the biggest biotech IPO of 2017.

Yes, Denali had the largest IPO on a U.S. stock exchange (NASDAQ Global Select Market). But GEN found no fewer than three biotechs that completed even larger initial public offerings this past year. All three of those IPOs were listed in Asia—one each in India, Hong Kong, and South Korea, where the year’s largest IPO raised nearly $1 billion in net proceeds.

Asia accounted for six of the 25 companies on GEN’s list of top 25 IPOs—with four based in China and its Hong Kong special administrative region. Another seven of the top 25 IPOs were launched by European biotechs—and one each based in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.K.

As a result, a majority of the top 25 (13) are based outside North America, leaving that continent with 12 top-25 IPO companies—one in Canada and 11 in the U.S. Of the 11 U.S. companies, a plurality (five) were based in Massachusetts, with two in California, and one each in Connecticut, Kentucky, North Carolina (Research Triangle Park), and Pennsylvania.

Below is a list of the 25 largest biotech IPOs that were completed, or at least began trading shares, as of December 11. Each IPO is listed by name of company, amount raised (usually net proceeds), date of completion, 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.


#25. BGI Genomics

Market (Symbol): ChiNext market of Shenzhen Stock Exchange (300676)

Amount: RMB 546.964 million ($82.6 million) in gross proceeds. 1

Date: July 14

Shares/Price per share: 40.1 million shares at RMB 13.64 ($2.06) per share


#24. ObsEva

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

Amount: Approximately $86.8 million in net proceeds

Date: January 25

Shares/Price per share: 6.45 million shares at $15 


#23. Tocagen

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

Amount: $86.9 million in estimated net proceeds 2

Date: April 13

Shares/Price per share: 9.775 million shares at $10 2


#22. Orphazyme

Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Copenhagen (ORPHA)

Amount: Approximately DKK 550 million ($87 million) in net proceeds 3

Date: November 6

Shares/Price per share: 9,375,000 shares at DKK 80 ($12.66) 3


#21. ScPharmaceuticals

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

Amount: Approximately $87.1 million 4

Date: November 17

Shares/Price per share: 6.4 million shares at $14 4


#20. InflaRx

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

Amount: Approximately $90.7 million in net proceeds 5

Date: November 8

Shares/Price per share: 6,667,000 shares at $15 5


#19. Kala Pharmaceuticals

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

Amount: Approximately $94.1 million in net proceeds 6

Date: July 20

Shares/Price per share: 6.9 million shares at $15 6


#18. argenx

Market (Symbol): Euronext Brussels and NASDAQ Global Select Market (ARGX)

Amount: Approximately $103.4 million in estimated net proceeds 7

Date: May 18

Shares/Price per share: 6,744,750 American Depositary Shares at $17 7


#17. Nucana Biomed

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

Amount: $103.7 million in estimated net proceeds 8

Date: September 28

Shares/Price per share: 7,596,505 American Depositary Shares at $15 8


#16. Jounce Therapeutics

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

Amount: $106.5 million in net proceeds 9

Date: January 27

Shares/Price per share: 7,319,750 shares at $16 9


#15. G1 Therapeutics

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

Amount: Approximately $108.6 million in net proceeds 10

Date: May 17

Shares/Price per share: 7,781,564 shares at $15 10


#14. Optinose

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

Amount: Approximately $125.54 million in net proceeds 11

Date: October 13

Shares/Price per share: 8,625,000 shares at $16 11


#13. Rhythm Pharmaceuticals

Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Market (RYTM)

Amount: Approximately $125.8 million in net proceeds 12

Date: October 5

Shares/Price per share: 8,107,500 shares at $17 12


#12. Clementia Pharmaceuticals

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

Amount: Approximately $128.2 million in net proceeds 13

Date: August 2

Shares/Price per share: 9.2 million shares at $15 13


#11. Erytech

Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (ERYP) 14

Amount: Approximately $130 million in aggregate net proceeds from “global” offering 14, 15

Date: November 6

Shares/Price per share: Up to 6,180,137 shares at $23.26 14, 15


#10. Akcea Therapeutics

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

Amount: Approximately $132.4 million in net proceeds 16, 17

Date: July 14

Shares/Price per share: 17,968,750 shares at $8 16, 17


#9. Apellis Pharmaceuticals

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

Amount: Approximately $137.2 million in net proceeds 18

Date: November 9

Shares/Price per share: 10,714,000 shares at $14 18


#8. Zai Lab

Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Market (ZLAB)

Amount: Approximately $157.1 million in net proceeds 19

Date: September 20

Shares/Price per share: 9,583,333 American depositary shares at $18 19


#7. Tiansheng Pharmaceutical Group

Market (Symbol): Shenzhen Stock Exchange: 002872

Amount: RMB 1.079 billion ($163 million) in net proceeds

Date: May 19

Shares/Price per share: 53 million shares at RMB 22.37 ($3.39) 


#6. Biohaven Pharmaceuticals

Market (Symbol): New York Stock Exchange (BHVN)

Amount: $176.367 million in net proceeds 20

Date: May 4

Shares/Price per share: 11.385 million shares at $17 20


#5. Ablynx

Market (Symbol): NASDAQ Global Select Market (ABLX) 21

Amount: $210.2 million in aggregate net proceeds 22

Date: October 30

Shares/Price per share: 13,144,500 American Depositary Shares at $17.50 22


#4. Denali Therapeutics

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

Amount: Approximately $229 million in net proceeds 23

Date: December 8

Shares/Price per share: 13,888,888 shares at $18 23


#3. Eris Lifesciences

Market (Symbol): National Stock Exchange of India (ERIS)

Amount: Rs. 17.41 billion ($269.9 million) in gross proceeds 24

Date: June 16

Shares/Price per share: 28.875 million shares at Rs. 600 to Rs. 603 ($9.28 to $9.33) 24


#2. WuXi Biologics

Market (Symbol): Hong Kong (2269)

Amount: Approximately HK$3.905 billion ($500.4 million) in net proceeds 25

Date: June 13

Shares/Price per share: 221,959,500 shares at HK$20.60 ($2.64) 25


#1. Celltrion

Market (Symbol): KOSDAQ market of the Korea Stock Exchange (068270) 26

Amount: KRW 1.009 trillion ($923.9 million)

Date: July 28

Shares/Price per share: 24,604,000 shares at KRW 41,000 ($37.78) 26

















Footnotes

  1. BGI Genomics did not disclose net proceeds in a July 14 statement announcing the pricing of its IPO or in its prospectus.
  2. Includes an additional 1.275 million shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  3. Orphazyme has granted the underwriters of its IPO a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,406,250 shares of common stock from the company at IPO price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions. If the underwriters exercise that option in full, Orphazyme has estimated in its prospectus that its net proceeds would rise to approximately DKK 635 million ($100.5 million).
  4. ScPharmaceuticals has granted the underwriters of its IPO a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 960,000 shares of common stock from the company at the IPO price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions. If the underwriters exercised that option in full, ScPharmeceuticals has estimated that its net proceeds would rise to approximately $100.5 million.
  5. InflaRx has granted the underwriters of its IPO a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,000,050 shares of common stock from the company at IPO price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions. If the underwriters exercise that option in full, InflaRx has estimated that its net proceeds would rise to approximately $104.6 million.
  6. Includes 900,000 shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  7. Includes an additional 879,750 American Depositary Shares, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  8. Includes partial exercise by underwriters of the over-allotment option for an additional 929,505 American Depositary Shares at the IPO price. The underwriters could have purchased up to an additional 1,000,050 ADSs at the IPO price. Had the underwriters exercised that option in full, Nucana Biomed has estimated it would have gained approximately $104.7 million in net proceeds in its prospectus, in which the company also estimated its net proceeds for the original offer at approximately $90.7 million. The furnished estimate consists of the original estimate plus 92.9% of the difference between the two estimates, since the over-allotment was 92.9% of the potential total.
  9. Includes an additional 954,750 shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  10. Includes partial exercise by underwriters of the over-allotment option for an additional 781,564 common shares at the IPO price. The underwriters could have purchased up to an additional 1.05 million common shares at the IPO price. Had the underwriters exercised that option in full, G1 has estimated that its net proceeds would have been $110.4 million.
  11. Includes an additional 1,125,000 shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  12. Includes an additional 1,057,500 shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  13. Includes an additional 1.2 million shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  14.  “Global” offering combines the company’s U.S. IPO, consisting of 5,389,021 American Depositary Shares, and a concurrent private placement in Europe and other countries outside of the U.S. and Canada of 791,116 ordinary shares. Erytech continues to trade shares on Euronext Paris under the symbol ERYP.
  15. Includes an additional 702,915 additional ADSs and 103,189 additional ordinary shares, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  16. Includes an additional 2,343,750 shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  17. Does not include approximately $50 million in net proceeds from a concurrent private placement with Novartis. The private placement raised Akcea’s net proceeds to a combined $182 million, Akcea stated in releasing third-quarter results on November 6. Akcea said the combination “provided us with funding sufficient to execute on the initial launch of volanesorsen in 2018 and to progress our pipeline to critical data milestones.”
  18. Apellis has granted the underwriters of its IPO a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,607,100 shares of common stock from the company at the initial public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions. If the underwriters exercised that option in full, Apellis has estimated that its net proceeds would rise to approximately $158.1 million, from the approximately $137.2 million estimated for the original offering of 10,714,000 shares.
  19. Includes full exercise by underwriters of the option to purchase 1.25 million additional ADSs and 103,189 additional ordinary shares at the IPO price. The global offering initially consisted of a total 8,333,333 American Depositary Shares at $18, with estimated net proceeds of $136.2 million.
  20. Includes an additional 1.485 million shares of common stock, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share.
  21. Offering consists of the company’s U.S. IPO. Ablynx continues to trade shares on Euronext Brussels under the symbol ABLX.
  22. Includes an additional 1,714,500 ADSs, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per ADS as the IPO price on October 26.
  23. Denali has granted the underwriters of its IPO a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,083,333 shares of common stock from the company at the IPO price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions. If the underwriters exercised that option in full, Denali has estimated that its net proceeds would rise to approximately $263.9 million, from the approximately $229 million estimated for the original offering of 13,888,888 shares.
  24. Net proceeds unavailable. Figure does not include the company’s sale of shares to 21 anchor investors, which yielded Rs. 7.79 billion ($120.5 million).
  25. Includes an additional 28,947,000 shares, for which underwriters exercised in full their 30-day over-allotment option to purchase from the company at the same price per share. Net proceeds include the HK$3.329 billion ($426.4 million) of the original offer plus the HK$575.4 million ($73.7 million) of the over-allotment, and were furnished by the company in filings with the Hong Kong stock exchange
  26. Celltrion said September 29 that it has opted to be listed on the main market of the Korea Stock Exchange, KOSPI, for which it will need to de-list from tech-focused secondary market KOSDAQ. "The switch is forecast to take place sometime in January or February of next year, considering the evaluation process," Celltrion CEO Kim Hyeong-gi told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

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