Argenx IPO haul tops out at $115M, 50% above initial goal

Argenx’s IPO fundraising total has come to a stop at $114.7 million, more than 50% above its initial target. The final bump to the figure came when the underwriters snapped up all the shares offered in the overallotment.

Those late stock purchases added $15 million to the total and continued the pattern set in recent weeks. When argenx filed to list on Nasdaq late last month, it set the proposed maximum offering at $75 million. Given that argenx lacked insider support, has yet to generate phase 2 data on its lead asset and mainly wants money for autoimmune R&D, that would have been a tall order at certain times over the past 18 months. But argenx breezed past the initial fundraising goal.

Belgian-Dutch biotech argenx dialled up the number of shares it planned to offer from 3.6 million to 5 million and finally up to 5.9 million. With argenx pricing the shares at $17 a piece, that brought its gross total to the cusp of $100 million, a figure it has now surpassed by offloading the overallotment.

The extra cash means argenx is financially well equipped to execute its R&D strategy. Prior to the late boosts to the IPO total, argenx allocated $35.5 million to the development of autoimmune asset ARGX-113. Argenx expected that to be enough to see ARGX-113 through mid-phase trials in myasthenia gravis and primary immune thrombocytopenia with enough left over to start gearing up for a pivotal study in one of the indications.

That argenx was able to secure enough cash to fund ARGX-113 and have enough left over to fund phase 1/2 and phase 2 trials of its cancer candidate ARGX-110 may have caught the attention of some of the companies that were left out in the cold when the IPO window slammed shut late in 2015.

Back then a clutch of biotechs including Basilea Pharmaceutica, Bavarian Nordic and GenSight Biologics followed the then-well-trodden path from Europe to Nasdaq only to have the door shut in their face by Wall Street. More recently, European biotechs AC Immune, Motif Bio, ObsEva, TiGenix and Verona Pharma have joined a fast-rising number of U.S. drug developers in pulling off IPOs.