Munich, Montreal, February 19, 2014 — Biotech IPOs continue to roll on and it is an explicit pleasure for TVM Capital Life Science as an investor to be part of the now year-long biotech IPO boom on NASDAQ which is one of the busiest IPO period in the history of U.S. biotech. Only a few months ago we already had two successful IPOs in our life science portfolio: Gene therapy company bluebird bio Inc. (NASDAQ:BLUE) raised $101 million in an IPO in June 2013 and in March 2013 we saw the first IPO of an early-stage pre-commercial biotech company in years: Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENTA) announced the closing of its initial public offering raising over US$65m.
The year 2014 is yet very young but already two more companies of the TVM Capital Life Science portfolio took advantage of the current IPO window:
Argos Therapeutics, Inc., Durham, USA, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 5,625,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $8.00 per share, before underwriting discounts on February 6. All of the shares in the offering are being sold by Argos. In addition, the underwriters have an option for a period of 30 days to purchase up to 843,750 additional shares of common stock from Argos at the public offering price, less the underwriting discount. Argos’ common stock has been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Market and began trading under the ticker symbol “ARGS” on February 7, 2014. Argos is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of fully personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases based on its Arcelis™ technology platform. www.argostherapeutics.com
Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lexington, USA, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 6,000,000 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $14.00 per share, before underwriting discounts on February 13. In addition, Concert has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 shares of common stock at the same price to cover over-allotments. The shares began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market on February 13, 2014 under the ticker symbol “CNCE.” The offering is expected to close on February 19, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions. Concert Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on applying its DCE Platform® (deuterated chemical entity platform) to create novel small molecule drugs. This approach starts with approved drugs, advanced clinical candidates or previously studied compounds that have the potential to be improved with deuterium substitution to enhance clinical safety, tolerability and efficacy. The company is developing a broad pipeline targeting CNS disorders, renal disease, inflammation and cancer. www.concertpharma.com
After many years of draught in the capital markets, and a low level of interest in development stage biotechnology companies, the market has opened up again in a surprisingly robust fashion. For venture capitalists like us this opens up an alternative and competitive exit route to M&A transactions. On top of this highly welcome change, many of the leading venture capitalists now have very mature companies in their portfolios that could not find an exit through trade sale but need to finance phase III trials and take their fate in their own hands. Two out of the four companies that went public in the last 10 months are good examples of this kind of company: either in phase III or ready to start phase III (Enanta, Argos). Bluebird and Concert are interesting platform technology companies with multiple products in the pipeline, broad partnership deals and great technologies to create more upside for investors. Looking at it from the point of view of creating truly innovative, successful and sustainable new businesses, this revived capital market is a strong indication that investors still value the power of innovation in a rapidly growing field such as biotechnology.
About TVM Capital, TVM Capital Life Science and TVM Capital Healthcare
TVM Capital is a group of globally acting venture capital and private equity firms with an operating track record of 30 years. Investment teams have financed more than 250 emerging companies across several industries since 1984. During the last 15 years the firm has become increasingly specialized in the most attractive and high-growth verticals in the broader healthcare markets, with focus areas in financing innovative products and technologies in the European and U.S. biopharmaceutical and medical device markets, as well as healthcare services in the Middle East and India. TVM Capital funds operate globally with dedicated Life Science venture capital funds advised by group members TVM Life Science Management in Montreal and TVM Capital in Munich, and its healthcare private equity activities managed by TVM Capital MENA out of Dubai.
Source: TVM Capital; Press releases Argos Therapeutics, Concert Pharmaceuticals.