Ebb & Flow
The biotech industry raised $917.6 million in the first week of May, nearly doubling the $592.5 million raised in all of April. But like fruit that dies on the vine, sometimes early indications can mask the health of the future harvest. Two convert note deals - $500 million from Genzyme (GENZ) and $300 million from Cephalon (CEPH) - accounted for about 90% of the take. Backing out those two deals would put last week's total at a mere $117.6 million.
It's hard to look past the fact that the underwritten business - follow-ons and IPOs - have all but gone away. The industry has yet to price a NASDAQ IPO or a follow-on this quarter. The last follow-on was a $162.5 million deal by metabolic company Regeneron (REGN), which went off largely because it found a sugar daddy - Ernesto Bertarelli, CEO of Serono (SWX:SEO; SRA) - to pick up 62% of the offering (see BioCentury, April 9). One has to go further back to find the last IPO: a trimmed back $49 million