San Diego’s Receptos, Ambit Biosciences, Get Ready for IPO Debuts

Xconomy San Diego — 

[Corrected 5/6/13, 10:50 am. See below.] San Diego-based Receptos, a biotech developing new treatments for immune disorders, is among 13 IPOs expected to go public this week, according to Renaissance Capital, a financial firm in Greenwich, CT, that specializes in IPOs.

Another San Diego biotech, Ambit Biosciences, also set a price range for its shares last week, but Ambit was not in the lineup for IPOs ready to take off this week.

Receptos plans to raise $71 million by offering 4.7 million shares at a price between $14 and $16 per share, according to Renaissance. The company submitted its IPO filing on Feb. 13 under new securities law that enables companies to submit their registration statement confidentially for SEC review before making their plans public. At the midpoint of the proposed range, Receptos would command a market value of $257 million. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq market under the symbol RCPT.

In a recent regulatory filing, Receptos said its lead drug candidate is an oral drug in late-stage clinical trials that is being developed for the treatment of Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Receptos was founded in 2008 and so far has not generated any revenue from product sales. The company posted a loss of $17.7 million in 2012, and booked $8.6 million in revenue from collaborative R&D agreements and other fees, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Ambit Biosciences has been developing small molecule therapeutics to treat cancers, and was working under a strategic partnership with Astellas Pharma. But the Japanese pharma said in March that it would end its collaboration with Ambit by September.

[Corrected to increase valuation after IPO.] Ambit plans to raise $65 million by offering 4.6 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15, according to Renaissance. At the midpoint of the proposed range, the market value of Ambit Biosciences would be about $194 million. A spokesman for Ambit notes that an additional $25 million raised from a concurrent private placement leads to a total valuation of almost $220 million at $14 a share. Ambit has designated its lead drug candidate for patients who have a particularly aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and who have relapsed. Quizartinib targets a mutation in a kinase protein signaling pathway (FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3, or FLT3), which represents roughly a third of AML patients, or about 4,000 new cases a year.

Ambit Biosciences was founded in 2000 and plans to list on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol AMBI. The company filed its IPO plans confidentially in December.