In another year defined by a turbulent market, Kenvue, Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Health business spin-off, gave the healthcare industry its largest IPO since 2018, netting $4.24 billion.
“This is the largest healthcare IPO since Siemens spun out device company Siemens Healthineers in a $5.17 billion IPO in 2018,” said Patricia Giglio, director of deals intelligence at Citeline.
Kenvue’s success was unsurprising given the strength of its existing brands, which include Tylenol, Band-Aid, Pepcid and Neosporin.
While Kenvue’s IPO was a behemoth, it was also an outlier. And when it comes to biopharmas, the top five IPOs of 2023 have been much smaller, ranging from $540 million to $192 million and so far haven’t topped the highest IPOs of 2022 or 2021, which were in turn down from a huge 2020.
The last few months have seen a few larger IPOs on the biopharma market, including cell therapy specialist Cargo Therapeutics, whose IPO was set at $281 million earlier this month. Abivax, a French-based biotech whose lead program targets ulcerative colitis, also raised $236 million after going public in the EU and U.S.
But neither company made the cut when we asked Giglio to identify the “top” biopharma IPOs — either based on value or clinical relevance — this year. Here are the companies she did pick, which run the gamut from oncology to mental health, and late-stage organizations with multiple candidates to a company banking on just one.
The IPO: $540 million in May
The rundown: Acelyrin is a late-stage biotech focusing on immunology by acquiring and accelerating the development and commercialization of medicines. Despite its high-dollar IPO, the company’s lead prospect, izokibep, failed a late-phase clinical trial in September. Giglio described izokibep as “an antibody mimetic targeting IL-17A through topline data in phase 2b/3 trials in hidradenitis suppurativa, psoriatic arthritis, and uveitis.” The company’s pipeline also includes lonigutamab, which is being studied in thyroid eye disease; and a chronic urticaria med dubbed SLRN-517.
The IPO: $345 million in July
The rundown: “With the largest IPO of the second quarter, the start-up aims to develop differentiated biologics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and related inflammatory and immunology indications with high unmet need,” Giglio said. Its two most advanced programs are subcutaneous extended half-life monoclonal antibodies, which the company believes will have improved dosing schedules compared to the standard of care. In August, the company said it initiated dosing of healthy volunteers in the first clinical trial for APG777, its lead product candidate for atopic dermatitis and other inflammatory diseases.
The IPO: $358 million in September
The rundown: Targeted radiopharmaceutical RayzeBio is going after validated solid tumor indications with its pipeline and had “already raised $418 million in disclosed venture financing prior to the IPO,” Giglio said.
Its lead program, RYZ101, is currently in a phase 3 trial in patients with SSTR-expressing gasteroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and a phase 1b trial in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer. RayzeBio’s pipeline also includes drugs for other tumor targets.
The IPO: $250 million in September
The rundown: ARCH Venture Partners made a splashy 2021 debut with Neumora, an Amgen-backed, clinical-stage company with a precision neuroscience platform aimed at developing targeted therapies for brain diseases. At its launch, Neumora had a portfolio of eight clinical, preclinical, and discovery-stage programs from a combination of internal discovery, the acquisitions of multiple private companies, and license agreements with Amgen. For instance, through its “acquisition of neurobehavioral health company BlackThorn, Neumora gained a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI)-powered computational psychiatry and data platform as well as two pipeline assets: navacaprant (NMRA-140), an oral kappa opioid receptor antagonist for major depressive disorder, now in phase 3, with topline results anticipated in [the second half of] 2024, and NMRA-511, a vasopressin receptor antagonist with potential in multiple diseases across anxiety, aggression, and stress,” Giglio said.
The IPO: $192 million in February
The rundown: Mineralys is a clinical-stage biopharma targeting diseases driven by abnormally elevated levels of the hormone aldosterone.
“The company’s first and only product candidate, MLS-101 (lorundrostat), an orally administered, highly selective aldosterone synthase inhibitor, was in-licensed from Mitsubishi Tanabe in 2019,” Giglio said.
In May, the company dosed the first patient in the pivotal trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of lorundrostat for the treatment of uncontrolled and resistant hypertension. In September, it published positive phase 2 results in the Journal of the American Medical Association.