BioBundle, IPOs grind to a halt

By Karen Bernstein

Financial fallout from the disappointing Phase III data from Synergen Inc.'s Antril sepsis drug was not long in coming, leading to the postponement last week of the Robertson, Stephens & Co. Biobundle and several IPOs.
The Antril news culminated a string of product disappointments in the past year, including two other sepsis drugs developed by Centocor Inc. and Xoma Corp. as well as chemoprotectives developed by U.S. Bioscience Inc. and MGI Pharma Inc. Coming amid hostile statements on drug pricing from Washington, the news shut down what little was left of the financing window.
The Biobundle, a convertible preferred offering including Repligen Corp., ImClone Systems Inc., Liposome Technology Inc., Celtrix Pharmaceuticals Inc., Somatix Therapy Corp., Neurogen Corp. and CytoTherapeutics Inc., was withdrawn due to market conditions, Sanford Robertson, chairman of Robertson, Stephens, told BioCentury. "Buyers don't want to look at this industry at the moment," he said.
'Too onerous'

Sandford Smith, president and CEO of Repligen, said the delay was decided on "first because the companies' stocks were between 25 percent and 30 percent below where they were when we started