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Bio/pharma IPOs on tap include: AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX), Endocyte (NASDAQ:ECYT) and Pacira Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PCRX). Nine others totaling $1 billion are scheduled -- see IPO calendar & valuation summaries

Note: biotech/biopharma companies offer solutions based on molecules. Pharmaceutical companies offer solutions based on drugs & drug delivery systems.

AcelRx Pharma's $75 million IPO with a market capitalization of $209 million at the price range mid-point of $13 is scheduled for the week of January 31, 2011.

CONCLUSION -- Very speculative, use of proceeds to fund Phase 3 clinical trials. Priced at 3X book value, a 19% discount from recent pharma IPOs ANAC & ZGNX, but ACRX has no sales (ACRX valuation metrics).

Business -- developing ARX-01, the Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System, for the management of acute post-operative pain in adult patients during hospitalization

Mission -- founded to solve the problems associated with post-operative intravenous patient-controlled analgesia, or IV PCA. Although widely used, IV PCA has been shown to cause harm to patients following surgery because of the side effects of morphine, the invasive IV route of delivery and the inherent potential for programming and delivery errors associated with the complexity of infusion pumps.

Use of proceeds -- $68mm from sale of 7.77mm shares. $43mm to fund Phase 3 development of ARX-01. Balance for working capital and other general corporate purposes

Endocyte's
$75 million IPO with a market capitalization of $269 million at the price range mid-point of $14 is scheduled for the week of January 31, 2011.

CONCLUSION -- Very speculative, use of proceeds to fund stage 3 clinical trials. Priced at 3.5x book value, a 5% discount from the current values of recent pharma IPOs ANAC & ZGNIX. However, both ANAC & ZGNIX have sales, ECYT reported no sales for the nine months ended September 2010 (Endocyte valuation metrics).

Business -- Biopharma developing targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Uses a proprietary technology to create novel small molecule drug conjugates, or SMDCs, and companion imaging diagnostics. ECYT’s SMDCs actively target receptors that are over-expressed on diseased cells, relative to healthy cells. Very good stage two clinical trial results.

Use of proceeds -- $68mm from sale of 5.35mm shares. To fund phase 3 clinical trial related to the use of EC145 and EC20 in PROC and to move preclinical products forward in the development process.


Pacira Pharma's $64 million IPO with a market capitalization of $224 million at the price range mid-point of $15 is scheduled for Thursday February 3, 2011.

SUMMARY & CONCLUSION -- PCRX sales increased 10% to $12 million for the nine months ended September 2010, up from $11 in the year earlier period. Lost $20 million for the September 2010 nine months. Priced at 3.5x book value, a 5% discount from the current values of recent pharma IPOs ANAC & ZGNIX. Less speculative than the two others scheduled for this week (PCRX Valuation Metrics).

Business -- Has filed a New Drug Application, or NDA, for the lead product candidate, EXPAREL, a long-acting bupivacaine (anesthetic/analgesic) product for postsurgical pain management. PCRX’s clinical data demonstrates that EXPAREL provides analgesia for up to 72 hours post-surgery, compared with seven hours or less for bupivacaine. PCRX products are based on its proprietary DepoFoam drug delivery technology, for use in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers

Use of proceeds -- $57mm from sale of 4.25mm shares. $36.0 million through the fourth quarter of 2011 for the planned manufacture and commercialization of EXPAREL in the United States. $1.5 million through the fourth quarter of 2011 for the development of EXPAREL for nerve block. Balance for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Three Biotech IPOs Ahead This Week: AcelRx Pharma, Endocyte, Pacira Pharma