Report: Public equity life sciences financings show strength

SAN FRANCISCO
November 1, 2012 5:59am
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•  October sees more than $1 Billion raised

•  “Companies with positive stories to tell … seized the moment”


A flurry of follow-on financings raised nearly $1.2 billion for the life sciences sector in October, up from $157 million in September as markets hit multi-year highs at the beginning of the month and clinical progress helped drive activity, according to a report Thursday from Burrill & Company of San Francisco.

In all, 12 of the 15 life sciences follow-ons in October were on U.S. exchanges for a total of $640.5 million, up from just $6 million for the same period a year ago, according to Burrill’s figures.

Life sciences follow-on activity is up 28.7 percent in the United States as activity has grown to $5.5 billion through the first ten months of 2012 compared to $4.3 billion for the same period a year ago, it says.

But global follow-on totals, including China's already-public Fosun Pharma's $511.6 million initial listing on the Hong Kong Exchange, have fallen 19.6 percent to $6.4 billion through the first ten months, Burrill notes.

Among the largest offerings completed on U.S. exchanges was Puma Biotechnologies, which raised $137.6 million through the sale of 8.6 million shares that reflected a 1 million share increase in the size of the offering as well as the full overallotment granted to underwriters, says Burrill. The development-stage biotech's lead experimental drug is an oral treatment for HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer and is in multiple mid-stage clinical trials.

"Many companies have been waiting for opportune moments to raise capital," says G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company, a diversified global financial services firm. "In the United States, with a strong market at the start of the month, companies with positive stories to tell about their clinical successes and the start of late-stage trials seized the moment."

Overall, a total of 15 life sciences companies have gone public on U.S. exchanges through the first 10 months of the year raising a total of $1.1 billion, the Burrill report says. That compares to 14 companies that raised a total of $1.2 billion through the same period a year ago. The performance of new issues in 2012 remains in positive territory with these offerings up an average of 8.7 percent through the end of October. The poor performance of industrial biotechnology IPOs weighed down the group. The 12 therapeutics IPOs completed in 2012, though, were up an average of 21.8 percent.


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