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Three more biotechs snag $196M in a huge week for IPOs

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Eleven Biotherapeutics ($EBIO), Revance Therapeutics ($RVNC) and Egalet ($EGLT) are the latest drug developers to pull off IPOs, raking in a combined $196 million in the busiest week of the biotech boom.

Revance cleared $96 million with its $16-a-share debut, pricing at the top of its range and commanding a $284 million market cap. The biotech's lead candidate is RT001, a Phase III Botox successor designed to ease crow's feet without the need for injections. The drug proved effective in a Phase II trial back in 2010, and its promise helped Revance close a $33 million Series E last year. Rounding out the company's pipeline is RT002, a Phase I injectable formulation of botulinum toxin type A with hopes of smoothing out frown lines.

Eleven, a Third Rock Ventures portfolio company, came in below its range at $10 a share, recouping $50 million to advance its promising ophthalmic drugs. Leading the way is EBI-005, a topical interleukin-1 receptor antagonist designed to treat ocular inflammation. This quarter, Eleven plans to kick off a Phase III trial on the drug in dry eye disease and a Phase II study in allergic conjunctivitis, and the biotech is in preclinical stages with injections for diabetic macular edema and uveitis. The Cambridge, MA, outfit takes its name from Spinal Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel's senselessly numbered amplifier, reflecting what CEO Abbie Celniker said is Eleven's ambition to "crank up" biologics development.

Finally, Danish biotech Egalet raised $50 million of its own in a $12-per-share offering that priced right at its proposed midpoint. The company is developing abuse-resistant opioid pain pills, and its chief candidate, Egalet-001, is an oral morphine formulation that should be NDA-ready by year's end, according to Egalet. Its second drug is an abuse-discouraging oxycodone that's slated for Phase III this year with an FDA filing planned for 2016.

With those three pricings in the books, this week has 7 successful life sciences IPOs, adding up to $457 million. And it's only Thursday. By week's end, Argos Therapeutics and NephroGenex are on tap to hit Wall Street and raise as much as $100 million, and four more biotech debuts are expected before Valentine's Day.

Last week, Dicerna ($DRNA) and Ultragenyx ($RARE) pulled off up-sized IPOs and received a warm reception from giddy investors, the first signs that 2013's bull market for biotechs had legs in the new year. Now, with 25 or more drug developers said to be queuing up for first-quarter debuts, we'll soon get an idea of just how voracious the market will be in 2014.

- read Revance's note
- check out Eleven's release
- here's Egalet's statement

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