Ebb & Flow

While companies in other industrial sectors have been forced to pull planned IPOs, the European appetite for biotech remains strong. Thus a number of continental European biotech companies are rushing to complete IPOs before the summer break. The pan-European Euronext appears to be the favored exchange of the latest batch, although Frankfurt may also see its first biotech IPO since Jerini (FSE:JI4) floated last fall.

Indeed, the latest entry to the IPO queue, but possibly the next to list, is German dermatology company BioFrontera, which is looking to raise E28.5 million ($36.7 million) by selling 1.9 million shares on Frankfurt's Prime Standard exchange. DZ Bank is joint lead manager and sole bookrunner, and Viscardi Securities Wertpapierhandelsbank and quirin bank are co-lead managers.

Unusually for a private biotech, BioFrontera already has some experience with the public market. In August 2005, the company placed a convertible bond with a nominal value of E20 million on the Frankfurt exchange. The bond has an 8% coupon and a strike price of E16.13 (see BioCentury, Sept. 5, 2005).

BioFrontera expects to use 40% of the new money to develop its pipeline, 35% to establish a sales and marketing infrastructure, and 25% for the in-licensing or acquisition of new dermatological products. Biofrontera's BF-200 aminolevulinic acid (ALA) photosensitizer is in Phase IIb/III testing for actinic keratosis and condyloma.

The book building process got underway last week and the company expects to start trading on Thursday this week.

Traffic jam

Trading in ThromboGenics also is expected to start this week, on Friday, after listing on Euronext Brussels. It is looking to raise up to

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