Ambit outlines $86M IPO as new offerings spike

San Diego-based Ambit Biosciences is banking on the allure of its kinase-screening technology to float plans for an IPO designed to raise $86.3 million. The 2006 Fierce 15 company, which has scored tens of millions of dollars in partnership money as it advances its own pipeline of new drugs, is planning to use the money to fund work on its mid-stage lead drug quizartinib for acute myeloid leukemia.

Ambit--which plans to trade under the AMBT symbol--lost more than $18 million in the first half of this year. That kind of red ink is common among biotech companies with no product revenue to rely on. But it's a feature that has forced numerous drug developers to hatchet share prices this year in order to complete an IPO.

Dow Jones, though, notes that there were 18 offerings in October, the most seen in three years. That market buoyancy appears to be luring a number of biotechs into what has been a very chilly market for young companies facing heavy risks.

- here's the Dow Jones report