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Ebb & Flow

While the IPOs sails drooped in the U.S., Basilea (SWX:BSLN) - one of Europe's leading spinout companies - made it to market last week and commanded a market cap of more than a half a billion.

BSLN raised CHF205.8 million ($162 million) through the sale of 2.1 million shares at CHF98. Although the price was below the mid-point of its proposed range of CHF90-CHF115, and the shares closed Friday down CHF1 to CHF97, the infectious diseases and dermatology company closed the week with a market cap of CHF718 million ($565 million).

CSFB; Morgan Stanley; and swissfirst served as underwriters.

BSLN, in which Roche (SWX: ROCZ) has a 32% stake, has two programs that have completed Phase II studies: BAL5788, a broad spectrum intravenous cephalosporin to treat skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) requiring surgical intervention; and BAL4079, an oral retinoid to treat chronic hand dermatitis. Both are expected to enter Phase III in the second half. BAL8557, a water-soluble azole, has completed Phase I testing for fungal infections and is expected to move into Phase II studies this year.

BSLN is the first biotech company to list on the Swiss SWX market since 2001, when profitable vaccine company Berna Biotech(SWX:BBIN) listed at CHF912 and a market cap of CHF912 million ($513.1 million).

In terms of market cap, BSLN is the third largest biotech on the exchange behind cardiovascular and metabolic specialist Actelion (SWX:ATLN), with a market cap of CHF3 billion ($2.4 billion), and Serono (SWX:SEO; SRA), valued at CHF12.8 billion ($10.1 billion). BBIN, which had a stock split in 2002, closed Friday at CHF11.90 and a market value of

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