IPO end around

Forgoing IPOs, some biotechs are going public via the Form 10 pathway

A trio of companies with ties to prostate cancer company Cougar Biotechnology Inc. have turned to the Form 10 pathway to list on U.S. markets at a time when biotech IPOs are difficult to complete. But this route may not be for most private biotechs, because investors typically commit financing prior to a listing, and a diversified shareholder base is required to move to a major exchange.

The pathway inverts the traditional IPO route: under Form 10-12G, companies raise money, become publicly reporting entities and then file to trade on the public markets.

Cougar obtained a public listing via Form 10 in 2006 and remains the highest profile biotech to have used the strategy. It was acquired for $1 billion three years later by Johnson &

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