By Camille Mojica Rey, Contributing Writer
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A window that opened late in the second quarter of 2017 remained open in the first quarter of 2018, allowing 16 companies to successfully go public. There were 41 biotech IPOs in 2017, a substantial increase over the 26 offerings held in 2016. Of the 2017 offerings, 35 of those companies are in the business of developing novel therapeutics. Of those that have gone public in 2018, 11 were in the business of drug development and four focused on immuno-oncology. At the current rate, 2018 promises to be at least as good as last year — if not better — for biopharma companies.
Between January 2018 and April 2018, 20 biotechs went public. “We are seeing a fair amount of IPO activity, and that wave has helped build a bellwether mentality,” says Ron Bentsur, CEO of Israel-based UroGen Pharma, which went public in early May 2017. Bentsur says the current window is staying open because many of the IPOs have been successful — including UroGen’s, which was the fourth best performing IPO in 2017 based on returns — and most of the news coming out of clinical trials has been positive. “We’ve had a pretty good streak here. You’re seeing a lot of investors pay attention to what’s going on in biotech today.”