The biotech industry got a mixed read on investors' appetite for IPOs yesterday. The biotech Codexis launched its IPO at the low end of its price range on Wednesday, raising $78 million as it continues to build its business for enzymes that are used by drug manufacturers as well as in biofuels.
Alimera Sciences, meanwhile, didn't fare as well. The Alpharetta, GA-based biotech sold 6.55 million shares at a bargain basement price of $11 after trying to push them for $15 to $17. Alimera raised $72 million from the public offering, which is just a bit more than it raised in venture funding from a group that includes Scale Venture Partners, Domain Associates, Intersouth Partners, Polaris Venture Partners and Venrock.
Alimera is conducting late-stage clinical trials for its lead drug Iluvien, a treatment for diabetic macular edema, which can trigger blindness. Wednesday was the busiest day of the year so far for IPOs in general.
The market message underscores investors' interest in companies that have an actual product out on the market. Codexis had priced its IPO at $13 to $15 a share before jumping onto the market with 6 million shares that sold at $13 each. While not a sign of any gangbuster enthusiasm for new biotech offerings, the price reflected genuine appetite for a company with revenue of $83 million last year.