2 Life Sciences IPOs Debut Below Target

Includes: CEMP, GWAY
by: The Burrill Report

By Marie Daghlian

The IPO market is heating up as social media giant Facebook filed for a $5 billion initial public offering and two more life sciences companies, Cempra (NASDAQ:CEMP) and Greenway Medical Technologies (NYSE:GWAY), went public. Both companies, however, priced below their target ranges and raised less than they had hoped.

North Carolina-based biotech Cempra raised $50.4 million in an 8.4 million share offering at $6 per share. That, however, was well below its target range of $11 to $13. Cempra had originally hoped to raise about $72 million by selling 6 million shares. Cempra will list on the Nasdaq Global market under the symbol CEMP.

Cempra has two oral antibiotics that have completed mid-stage clinical trials. It is the second drug developer to go public so far this year. The first therapeutic IPO, Verastem, was greeted more enthusiastically when it debuted one week before Cempra’s offering.

Healthcare software solutions developer Greenway Medical Technologies also went public, raising $67 million in a 6.7 million share offering at $10, below its $11 to $13 target range. The Georgia-based company provides electronic health records systems and other services to more than 33,000 healthcare providers nationwide that facilitate the delivery of patient care and on-demand services.

Greenway sold 5.4 million shares and selling stockholders sold 1.3 million shares. Shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GWAY.

It will be interesting to see if the excitement swirling around Facebook’s planned offering and other internet-related IPOs trickles down to life sciences. While Cempra and Greenway managed to get out the gate, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, with five cancer candidates in clinical trials, decided to postpone its IPO citing poor market conditions.

There are currently 23 life sciences in the IPO queue, including seven drug developers and 11 companies in the biorenewables sector. Pre-clinical drug developer Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM), focused on drugs that target cancer stem cells, was trading up 10 percent one week after making its debut. Renewable Energy Group, a biodiesel producer, was trading down 10 percent two weeks after its IPO.

February 03, 2012