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Biotech IPO fever spreads from West to East

Authored by Karl Simpson

There has been much fanfare at the opening of the IPO window for biotechs in the US and already this year we have seen 17 new biotechs raise capital by taking their companies public, the most recent of which was PTC Therapeutics who raised in excess of $125m to drive their duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), ataluren.

However, the US markets are not the only story in the global village because the biotech IPO fever has spread east to Japan, as ReproCELL managed to raise around Y2.1bn after an IPO on the JASDAQ, valuing the company which was founded in 2003 at around $280m. ReproCELL Inc. is focused on the development of stem cell technologies, many of which were developed by the stem cell pioneers, Prof. Norio Nakatsuji from the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University, and Prof. Hiromitsu Nakauchi from The Institute of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokyo.

ReproCELL develops a product range of stem cell technologies for drug discovery, such as Human iPSC – derived cardiomyocytes and derived neurons.

It is another example of the current interest in the biotech investor community for companies and assets which are truly innovative. If the signals are of improving US and Japanese investor interest, let’s hope we can begin to see more evidence of investor appetite in Europe for the asset class.

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