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December 18, 2017

Top 25 Biopharma IPOs of 2017

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

Top 25 Biopharma IPOs of 2017

Biopharma companies that launched the top initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2017 found a receptive audience from investors, even in early stages of drug development, and were more than likely headquartered outside North America. [Prasit/Getty Images]

  • 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

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