Clovis Oncology evades scalping, raises $130M in IPO

Clovis Oncology managed to roll out its IPO today, raising $130 million on the sale of 10 million shares at $13 a pop. That price was right at the low end of the range that Clovis had priced them at, but the biotech managed to avoid the big discounts that other developers have had to offer to complete a maiden offering.

That money will be used for Clovis's ambitious programs for experimental cancer drugs. CEO Patrick Mahaffy gathered together a team of veteran execs from Pharmion, which they sold for $2.9 billion, and launched the biotech in 2009 with a big, $146 million A round. That money has financed collaboration deals with Avila Therapeutics and Norway's Clavis Pharma, among others. Clovis was named a Fierce 15 company in 2009.

It's no secret that completing a biotech IPO has been tough, at best. When NewLink Genetics went public earlier this month, it had to sell its shares well below range, just as a long lineup has done before. Clovis's IPO may not have been a stellar performer, but avoiding a whipping counts as a big success right now. And any sign of an approaching thaw in the chilly IPO market for biotechs would help encourage VCs.

The company decided early on to take a global perspective on new cancer drugs. In addition to its Boulder, CO base it has offices in San Francisco and Cambridge in the U.K. JP Morgan Securities and Credit Suisse Securities acted as joint book-running managers for the offering, with Leerink Swann acting as co-manager. The company is trading now under the CLVS symbol.

- see the Clovis release
- here's the report from the AP