Rare Disease Biotech Xenon Pharmaceuticals Files for $52 million IPO

September 15, 2014

Xenon Pharmaceuticals, an early-stage biotech with a gene therapy discovery platform for rare diseases, filed on Wednesday with the SEC to raise up to $52 million in an initial public offering. Xenon has a number of collaboration and licensing agreements with large pharmaceuticals including Teva, Genentech and Merck for its preclinical research. 

The company’s discovery platform was used to develop uniQure’s Glybera treatment for orphan disease lipoprotein lipase deficiency, the first gene therapy approved in the EU. February IPO uniQure ( QURE ) priced above its range but ended the first day down 14% and now trades down 36% below the IPO price. Xenon is eligible to receive mid single-digit royalties on net sales of Glybera. Teva is in Phase 2 trials for a gene therapy discovered by Xenon that is being developed to treat osteoarthritis. Genentech was cleared to begin a Phase 1 trial for Xenon’s pain treatment and Merck is in preclinical development for cardiovascular disease. Xenon also has a variety of preclinical therapies for both orphan diseases (such as Dravet Syndrome) and large-market conditions (including acne). 

Primary shareholders include Medpace (16%), Lipterx (11%), InterWest Partners (9%), Fidelity (7%), Invesco (5%) and CEO Simon Pimstone (4%). 

The Burnaby, Canada-based company, which was founded in 1996 and booked $27 million in collaboration revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, 2014, plans to list on the NASDAQ under the symbol XENE. Xenon Pharmaceuticals initially filed confidentially on August 16, 2013. Jefferies and Wells Fargo Securities are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. 

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