West Coast Biotech Roundup: IPOs, Gilead, Sofinnova, & Denouements

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the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. Pfenex raised $50 million in its IPO by offering 8.3 million shares at $6 a share. Pfenex initially planned to raise $65 million by offering 5 million shares priced somewhere between $12 and $14 a share. At $6, Pfenex has a market valuation of $118 million, or 43 percent below its initially proposed market cap of $207 million.

—Seattle-based immunotherapy company Immune Design (NASDAQ: IMDZ), meanwhile, did make it through the IPO queue this week—albeit not with as big a splash as it had hoped. Immune Design priced 5 million shares at $12 apiece, the low end of its $12 to $14 range, raising a total of $60 million. Further, insiders bought about $20 million of the stock in the IPO, according to research firm Renaissance Capital. Column Group (26.1 percent stake before the IPO), ProQuest Investments IV (24.1 percent), Alta Partners (20.9 percent) and Versant Ventures (20.9 percent) own most of the company’s shares.

—Another San Diego biotech, La Jolla Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ: LJPC), raised over $50 million in gross proceeds after pricing an underwritten offering of 4.8 million shares at $10.50 a share. After deducting the underwriting costs, the company said it plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including funding its ongoing and future clinical trials, and for general and administrative expenses.

—Brisbane, CA-based Atara Biotherapeutics looks like it’ll have to wait a little longer before it makes its debut on the Nasdaq. A report from Thomson Reuters indicated that Atara has postponed its IPO because clinical data came in that it has to disclose publicly to investors before pricing the offering. Atara was formed a few years ago around some drug programs licensed from Amgen for muscle-wasting disorders and cancer. The company aims to raise about $80 million in its IPO.

—Perhaps encouraged by the strong IPO activity, venture capital firms invested a record $1.8 billion in 122 biotech startups nationwide during the three months that ended June 30, according to the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association, and Thomson Reuters. The previous high for venture dollars invested in biotech was set during the … Next Page »

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