With 5 postponed public offerings this month, is the IPO window beginning to close for biotechs?

Bigstock_ 22654394 - Silhouette Of Business Woman Looking Into WindowA biopharmaceutical company led by former Cephalon CEO Kevin Buchi has pulled its $103.5 million initial public offering shortly before it was due to begin trading this morning. TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals’  lead indication for its therapeutic platform targets colorectal cancer, a condition that’s projected to account for 9 percent of cancer deaths in 2013, according to data from the National Cancer Institute referenced in the company’s S-1 filing.

The Philadelphia Business Journal quoted Buchi, who said: “The market is just exhausted at this time.”

Vital Therapies also pulled its $75 million IPO today. It is developing bio-artificial liver cells for treatment of acute liver failure, according to a statement from Renaissance Capital’s IPO center.

Biotechnology companies have been a big source of IPOs this year. There have been 50 healthcare IPOs to date that have raised more than $8 billion, the most of any industry, according to data from Renaissance Capital’s IPO Center.  On the other hand, buyout discussions or investor contention that the IPOs are overpriced could be among the reasons why some biotechs have decided to delay offerings.


There have been several postponed life science IPOs this month. Among them:

Trevena, led by CEO Maxine Gowen, pulled its IPO scheduled for this week. The company’s lead therapeutic indication is for acute decompensated heart failure, a condition that affects 5 million people in the U.S. alone. Its treatment uses G protein-coupled receptors that transmit chemical signals to a wide variety of cells. Its therapeutics build on the work of 2012 Nobel Prize winner Robert Lefkowitz and his Duke University colleague Howard Rockman.

Celladon pulled its IPO last week, citing poor market conditions. It’s developing a gene therapy for acute heart failure patients, according to Xconomy.

CardioDx sells a diagnostic test for coronary artery disease and postponed its public offering last week, according to Renaissance Capital.

[Photo credit: Businesswoman looking out window from BigStock Photo]

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