Authored by Karl Simpson
It has been a big week for Ultragenyx, the ultra-rare diseases company focused on metabolic genetic disorders. Last Friday they listed on Nasdaq under the ticker “RARE” in an initial public offering of 6,624,423 shares of common stock at an initial public offering price of $21.00 per share. The list price garnered the company $121m in funding and in the first day of trading the company experienced a further pop in its share price to above $40, highlighting the current investor appetite for biotech stocks and perhaps even more specifically, rare diseases companies.
Following on from this IPO, the company has drafted in a couple of industry heavyweights and appointed them to the Board of Directors. Emil Kakkis, himself a highly respected biotech entrepreneur, has been able to attract the respective talents of Dr. Clay Siegall from Seattle Genetics and also Matthew Fust from Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Siegall currently serves as President, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Seattle Genetics, famed for its excellent work in the field of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and the marketed cancer drug ADCETRIS.
Mr. Fust is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, who last year was subject of a $10.4bn acquisition by Amgen. He also previously served as CFO of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, itself an active acquirer of rare disease company Gentium.
Ben Auspitz, a partner with Fidelity Bioscience, will leave the board.
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