If IPO sectors typically arrive in waves, then 2014 has been a
tsunami of biotechs, particularly during February (10 biotech
IPOs) and March (10). Assuming every biotech on the IPO calendar
for July actually prices, we could see 19 go public this month, a
sharp spike from the 38 biotech IPOs in the first half of the
year. Biotechs now represent 50% of the 34 IPOs scheduled for the
next two weeks. Depending on investor appetite and companies'
willingness to adjust valuations accordingly, July could be the
busiest month for IPOs in 14 years, immediately following the
busiest quarter for IPOs in 14 years.
Interestingly enough, IPO buyers will soon face a flurry of
upcoming health care IPOs (with notable backers) that are focused
on the eyes, ears and nose, while yet another could launch as
early as next Friday.
Three eye therapy biotechs
), which is developing a biosimilar version of the current
standard of care (Lucentis) for the eye disease wet AMD, had
originally planned to go public last week and is now expected to
price in the next two weeks. A former division of Dow Chemical,
Pfenex cut its range and decreased the proposed market cap by
26%, yet investors' caution could be driven by its early stage of
development and potential competition.
Ocular Therapeutix (
) is developing injectable sustained release therapies that treat
various eye conditions and diseases. It recently won FDA approval
for a sealant that closes cataract incisions, but also has
treatments in the pipeline for post-surgical inflamation,
Glaucoma, conjunctivitis and wet AMD.
Avalanche Biotechnologies (
), which develops a gene therapy platform for treating eye
diseases, expects to raise $76 million next week. Its lead
candidate is in Phase 2 trials for wet AMD. The biotech has also
partnered with Regeneron to treat a rare genetic disease.
Regneron, a potential competitor with one of the three approved
therapies for wet AMD, has agreed to purchase shares in a
concurrent private placement, joining existing investors Zygi
Wilf (owner of the Minnesota Vikings), Venrock and Fidelity.
Both Ocular and Avalanche should benefit from insiders buying on
the offering. All three have treatments that target the lucrative
wet AMD market, yet none of those candidates have reached Phase 3
trials. An "eye" IPO honorable mention: Mobileye (
), which provides software for cameras to interpret and react to
danger on the road, also set terms for next week.
Two ear therapy biotechs
Auris Medical (
), a late-stage biotech developing treatments for acute and
post-acute inner ear tinnitus, is expected to raise about $76
million next week. The company also has a candidate for inner ear
hearing loss and Ménière's disease in its
pipeline. Backed by Sofinnova, its filings suggest insiders
will purchase 25% of the deal on the IPO.
Otonomy (OTIC) submitted an initial filing on July 11, meaning it
could set terms for an IPO as early as Friday, August 1. It
recently completed final Phase 3 trials for a sustained-exposure
treatment that corrects middle ear effusion during TTP surgery.
Its second candidate is in Phase 2b trials for Ménière's
disease and has a preclinical candidate for tinnitus. Its
well-known shareholders include Novo A/S, TPG and Domain.
One maker of bioabsorbable post-surgical nasal implants
Intersect ENT (XENT) markets a drug eluting nasal implant that is
absorbed by the body after sinusitis surgery. It is also in Phase
3 trials for a steroid implant that can be inserted in doctors'
offices rather than the surgery room. With $23 million LTM sales,
Intersect claims its advanced products offer better relief than
oral steroids and temporary nasal packing materials. Its
illustrious backers include US Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins,
Norwest and Medtronic.
|Upcoming Eye, Ear and Nose IPOs
||Deal Size (mm)
||Version of Lucentis wet AMD
|Intersect ENT (XENT)
|Ocular Therapeutix (
||Sustained-release hydrogel for
|Avalanche Biotechnologies (
||Gene therapies for wet AMD and
|Auris Medical Holding (
||Treatments for inner
||Sustained-release therapy for
* Because it has an established product, we do not include
Intersect ENT in our biotech stats.