Market watchers noted another victory for billionaire Randal Kirk Thursday, as his company Intrexon (NYSE:XON) made its debut in New York and was immediately propelled into the top per cent of performers on the exchange on the back of a rise in value of more than 50 per cent.
The synthetic biology company raised $160 million from the 10 million shares offered for sale in the IPO, with each share selling for $16, a price at the high end of the expected range. Shares in the day's hottest IPO immediately took flight, putting on another $8.06 by 2:18 pm EST for a valuation that corresponds to the company being worth in excess of $2 billion.
For Kirk, who already made a fortune from New River and Clinical Data and has - by virtue of his 100 million shares in the newly IPO'd market darling -- just made another one, it is only the latest episode in a storied and glittering career. Truly the industry legend knows a good bet when he sees one, making his interest in Soligenix (OTCBB:SNGX) all the more heartening for the New Jersey-based development stage biopharmaceutical company.
The company, which has already seen its stock rise almost 150 per cent in the calendar year so far, caught the renowned life sciences billionaire's eye earlier this year with its development of a treatment for high priority government biothreat melioidosis, a contagion which has the potential for widespread dissemination through aerosol. The infectious disease is caused by a bacterium that is highly resistant to antibiotic regimens, with mortality rates as high as 40 per cent in parts of Southeast Asia. In May, the company signed an exclusive worldwide collaboration agreement with Intrexon, today's market livening IPO subject, for the development of a treatment for the disease.
Soligenix itself just closed financing worth a little over $7.1 million in a public offering of common stock and warrants in order to advance its candidates; in that instance too, the renowned billionaire life sciences investor had a role to play, in that a chunk of the funds originated with a firm linked to Kirk himself.
Soligenix has numerous drug candidates under its belt including multiple programs targeting indications that each have at least $200 million plus of worldwide market potential.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.