There's plenty of buzz out there in advance of Ironwood's big IPO, and it isn't all pretty.
"These are the kind of deals that when they come out, the public doesn't want them," Cantor Fitzgerald's Sal Morreale tells the Wall Street Journal when asked to assess its chances. "We're in a bit of a rut."
From the upbeat side of things in an Xconomy story: "There is huge buzz about it, and it could be bigger than most biotech IPOs in recent memory. The whole industry is waiting with baited breath and watching how it trades," says Bob Nelsen, managing director of Arch Venture Partners in Seattle. "There is no question they will get a good price and get out, so the big question is what happens post-IPO. If it goes out strong, the number of followers will be much larger. If it goes out weak, only a few super-high-quality deals will get through the window. My fingers are crossed."
Minyanville plays the skeptic: "The company says it plans to build the next great pharmaceutical company that will 'thrive and endure well beyond our lifetimes.' This seems like a tall order for any company to claim, but especially at a time when many large pharmaceutical companies are struggling with the pressures of dwindling pipelines and are facing ever-mounting cost pressures due to generics and government policy."
For my part, Ironwood has a good story to tell and has never wavered in its commitment to build a real biopharma company of substance. It's well along the late-stage process with linaclotide--an NDA should arrive in the first half--but $272 million is a lot for a company with no real revenue to ask of this IPO market. If they pull this off in style, we'll see plenty of new biotech IPOs in the next few months.