Biotech Stocks Hitting the Public Market This Year: Best Ones to Watch

Biotech Stocks

Last year was a record year for biotech stocks, with an impressive number of companies going public and raising a significant amount of money in the space. In fact, in 2018 there were 80 biotech IPOs that raised a record total of $8.65 billion in gross proceeds.

This trend is continuing into 2019, as more and more biotech stocks announce IPOs and hit the public market. Of the companies going public, many are focused on the treatment of cancer, while a couple have been developing drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, the global biotech market is expected to surpass $775 billion USD by 2024 thanks to rising demand for novel biotechnological products and the growing incidence of chronic diseases.

Let’s take a look at the biotech stocks that have entered the public space in recent months as well as those that are in the process of filing initial public offerings (IPOs).

Biotech Stocks that Went Public in 2018

Massachusetts-based biotech company Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) shocked the space late last year with the largest biotech IPO to date. The company sold 26.3 million of its shares at a price of $23 per share, raising $604.3 million and valuing the company at $7.5 billion.

Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RUBY), a biotech company that is creating and transforming red blood cells into cellular medicines to combat cancer and other diseases, also entered the public market with a bang in 2018. The company, also based in Massachusetts, put out an initial public offering of over 10 million shares at a price of $23 and raised a cool $241 million.

Cancer drug developer Allogene Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ALLO) is another biotech stock that hit the public market late last year. The company joined Nasdaq with a massive IPO of 18 million shares at a price of $18 per share, raking in over $250 million. The company’s share price skyrocketed 39% above its IPO price on its first day of trading in the US and has continued to fair well.

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Biotech Stocks that Have Gone Public in 2019

Although some expect the number of biotech stocks filing IPOs to cool down in 2019, there have already been a number of impressive offerings so far this year.

One of these is Avedro (NASDAQ:AVDR), a leading commercial-stage ophthalmic medical technology company focused on treating corneal ectatic disorders. In February, the company announced an IPO of 5,000,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $14.00 per share, for total gross proceeds of $70.0 million.

Then there was Israel-based medical technology company BrainsWay (NASDAQ:BWAY). The company announced its initial public offering of 2.5 million American Depository Shares (ADS), each representing two ordinary shares of BrainsWay, at a public offering price of $11.00 per ADS.

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Unlike the other biotech stocks going public, BrainsWay is focused on developing advanced solutions for brain disorders using its flagship Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) technology. The company also offers the first FDA-cleared non-evasive medical device for the treatment of OCD.

Alector (NASDAQ:ALEC), a company that is taking an immunotherapy approach to Alzheimer’s disease, is another company that is expected to do big things this year after its IPO raised $176 million. The Alzheimer’s disease drug development space has had a rough few years, receiving one devastating blow after another as clinical tests failed and some companies gave up completely.

Alector may offer a bright spot in an otherwise dark area with its immunotherapy approach. In April, the company announced the initiation of the Phase 1 study on AL003 to investigate the safety profile, pharmacodynamics, and target engagement of AL003 in healthy volunteers.

Gossamer Bio (NASDAQ:GOSS) was coined the second biotech “unicorn” IPO of 2019 (after Alector) when it raised $276 million in its initial public offering in February. Gossamer Bio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is focused on discovering, acquiring, developing, and commercializing therapeutics in the disease areas of immunology, oncology, and inflammation.

Singapore-based medical device company TransMedics Group (NASDAQ:TMDX) just entered the public market on Thursday with an IPO of 5,690,000 shares at $16 per share, which is expected to raise 91 million. TransMedics, which was founded in 1980, is one of the leading medical equipment specialists in Southeast Asia that is transforming organ transplant therapy for patients with end-stage lung, heart, and liver failure.

Cancer Treatment Biotech Stocks that Entered the Market

As mentioned, there were also a number of cancer-focused biotech stocks that entered the public market this year. One of these was TCR2 Therapeutics (NASDAQ:TCRR), which is focused on developing the next generation of novel T cell engagers that harness the power of the body’s immune system for patients who are suffering from cancer. The company announced an IPO of 5 million shares at a price of $15, raising gross proceeds of $75 million.

There was also cancer immunotherapy developer Harpoon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HARP), which raised an impressive $76 million with its IPO in February. The lead Harpoon drug HPN424 for prostate cancer is currently in an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial.

And let’s not forget about Precision BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ:DTIL), which uses its next-generation genome editing platform ARCUS® to eliminate cancers, cure genetic diseases, and create safer, more productive food sources. Precision hit the public market in April with an IPO of 7.9 million shares at a price of $16 per share, raising a total of $126.4 million in gross proceeds.

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Biotech Stocks Entering the Market in May

If that list of newly available biotech stocks isn’t enough, there are a number of promising companies that are set to enter the market later this month.

Codiak Biosciences announced its IPO in the last week and is aiming to raise $86 million. Since the company was founded in 2015, it has developed a proprietary technology platform for exosome engineering and manufacturing. The technology will allow for precise therapeutic targeting and open the door to the development of therapies to treat a diverse array of diseases that are currently either difficult or impossible to treat using existing methodologies.

Bicycle Therapeutics also has its eye on raising $86 million with its IPO, which was announced on April 26. The company is developing a brand new class of small, chemically-synthesized medicines, known as bicycles, to create transformative medicines for life-altering diseases.

Another company that announced its entrance into the public market on April 26 was drug discovery and developer Peloton Therapeutics. The company filed a preliminary prospectus for an IPO of $115 million last week, which comes just two months after it closed an oversubscribed Series E financing of $150 million.

The fourth company to announce its IPO plans in the last week was IDEAYA Biosciences, a San Francisco-based biotech stock that focuses on precision oncology. The targeted cancer therapy developer filed with the SEC on April 26 to raise $70 million. IDEAYA also recently added leading cancer researchers Frank McCormick, Ph.D., FRS, and William Sellers, M.D., to its Scientific Advisory Board.

Axcella Health also set the terms for its IPO this week. The company is offering 3,571,428 shares at a price between $20 and $22 per share, which is expected to raise up to $78.6 million. Axcella, which is based in Massachusetts like many other biotech stocks on this list, is focused on the research and development of novel multifactorial interventions to support health and address dysregulated metabolism.

Maryland-based cancer immunotherapy company NextCure is another company that plans to join the Nasdaq this month. The company announced the terms of its IPO this week, with an offer of 5 million shares at a price between $14 and $16, which would raise approximately $75 million.

Then there is Cortexyme, a company that is taking a different approach to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The company, which plans to raise $75 million in an IPO on May 9, is pioneering a novel disease-modifying therapeutic approach to treat what it believes to be a key underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

The company recently announced that it is seeking more than 500 participants for the Phase 2/3 clinical study of its lead investigational medicine, COR388. The study will assess whether this new investigational medicine targeting P. gingivalis bacteria can slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Last but not least on the list of biotech stocks entering the public market this month is Milestone Pharmaceuticals, a North Carolina-based clinical-stage pharmaceutical company that is focused on the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases. Milestone also hopes to raise $75 million through an IPO later this month.

The company has achieved compelling results in the Phase 2 trial for evaluating etripamil. Etripamil is a novel, potent, fast-acting, and short-acting calcium channel blocker in development as a nasal spray for the acute treatment of patients with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT).

It will be very exciting to see the new biotech products that will come to the market and which biotech stocks will be the ones to do it.

Are there any new biotech stocks on your radar? Let us know in the comments!

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