4 biotech companies just announced that they're going public, braving treacherous markets and a government shutdown
- Despite a large amount of uncertainty, biotechs aiming to go public are pressing forward, with four new filings so far in 2019.
- The companies aim to raise a combined $422 million by entering the public markets, their filings show.
- Going into 2019, some healthcare experts had expected a slowdown as the IPO markets have started to look more uncertain because of a volatile stock market.
The biotech initial public offering slowdown that some on Wall Street were expecting this year hasn't happened yet.
Going into 2019, some investing experts had expected a slowdown as the IPO market started to look more uncertain amid a tumultuous public market. The government shutdown has added additional challenges.
Companies in 2018 raised more than $6.3 billion in 58 deals, according to Renaissance Capital. It was the highest number of initial public offerings in a year since 2014, when there were 71 biotech IPOs that raised a combined $5.2 billion.
Through the first few days of 2019, a number of biotechs laid out their plans to go public in the coming months.
"It's going to be really interesting to see what the pricing action is on those IPOs," Steve Elms, managing partner of venture-capital firm Aisling Capital, told Business Insider in early January.
If you "look over the last couple of years, a lot of very early stage companies went public," Elms said. "I don't know that pre-clinical companies are going to be able to continue going public in this kind of treacherous market."
Going forward with IPOs, however, has been made more difficult by the ongoing partial government shutdown, the longest in US history, which has left the Securities and Exchange Commission shuttered.
As a result, lawyers can't get crucial paperwork for IPO filings approved, Business Insider has previously reported.
In the meantime, here are the biotech companies starting off 2019 with a plan to go public:
- Harpoon Therapeutics, a cancer-drug maker that's looking to harness the power of the body's T cells to go after cancerous cells, filed January 4. The South San Francisco-based company is looking to raise $86.2 million.
- Alector, a startup that's trying to harness the body's immune system to treat neurologic diseases like Alzheimer's filed to go public on January 7. The Bay Area biotech is aiming to raise $150 million.
- Kaleido Biosciences, a company using the microbiome to treat metabolic conditions, filed on Friday. The Lexington, Massachusetts-based company is aiming to raise $100 million.
- Cirius Therapeutics, a company developing treatments for liver conditions including NASH, a type of liver disease in which liver fat builds up in people, filed on Friday. The San Diego-based company is looking to raise $86.25 million.
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