Ebb & Flow

Two biotechs filed for IPOs last week, but neither is exactly what investors say they are looking for in a bellwether to open the window - a late stage product company with the potential for near-term profitability. Last week's filings included Advancis,a company in Phase I/II trials that has been flying below the radar, and Genitope, a cancer vaccine company that is viewed as a one-trick pony. The filings follow last month's filing by Acusphere,which originally tried to go public in 2001.
While Genitope and Acusphere have programs in Phase III, each are viewed as having thin pipelines. And for both, the Phase III data event is several years out. Thus, each has the "binary event" flavor of the early '90s IPOs that left investors disillusioned. Genitope expects to complete enrollment in its Phase III trial of MyVax (GTOP-99) patient-specific immunotherapy to treat follicular B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in the first quarter of 2004 and hopes to submit a BLA in 2005. The company also is running Phase II trials with the vaccine in aggressive B cell NHL.
Street talk is that Genitope had a hard time raising cash in its last financing, a series E round that remains open, according to the S-1. In the round, Genitope raised $20.8 million in two closes in March and June 2002. It raised an additional $2.3 million in April and May this year, and according to the filing sold an undisclosed amount of series E stock this month. The series E stock was priced at $4.50, a 73% discount to the series D price of $7.80.
The company's operating loss for the first half of this year was $10.9 million. It had $6.1 million in the bank at June 30.
Genitope hopes to raise up to $68.8 million. Look for this one to have a large retail component. WR Hambrecht and Punk, Ziegel are banking the deal.
S-1 spelunking
Advancis provided few deal terms for

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