The lesser trickling of IPO in European Markets

European biotech companies engaged in discovery & development of drug raised an aggregate $3.172Bn in equity investment during the first six months of 2019, down 19 percent on the same period last year. Unless there is a significant pickup in the 3rd & 4th quarters, the sector’s record-breaking 2018 total of $7.715Bn seems to be out of reach.

Meanwhile, the sector is still on track for an excellent year, nevertheless a marked decline in IPO funding. The total reached till now this year; $314M spread across just 4 transactions is well down on the last two years. Europe is by far not a key participant in what could be another record year for new biotech offerings on NASDAQ.

Just 3 European biotechnology companies have till now listed on Nasdaq this year: Vienna-based immunotherapy developer Hookipa Pharma Inc., which took in $84 million, Paris-based NASH drug developer Genfit SA, which increased $145M; and Cambridge, U.K.-based oncology specialist Bicycle Therapeutics Inc., which raised $61M.

In markets of Europe, the drop of IPOs is even less. So far, just one new offering has been completed, which is of Ascelia Pharma AB, a Malmö Sweden-based oncology drug developer, which raised $24 million on Nasdaq Stockholm. Obviously, just one huge transaction could change the picture dramatically and already one such transaction is lined up. In May, Copenhagen-based antibody developer Genmab A/S, which has long been listed on its home exchange, filed a registration statement to raise $500M on NASDAQ. So far, no information about the timing of the transaction has been approaching. Even by terms of NASDAQ, it is a huge deal, but Genmab is one of the biggest success stories in biotechnology in Europe. Excluding broader macroeconomic events, it would be the main surprise if the IPO were to unravel at this point.