Europe's public biotechs blast past 2014 fundraising total in just 6 months

Biotechs listed on European stock exchanges have raised more money in the first half of 2015 than in all of last year, according to a report by Biocom. Over the first 6 months of 2015, €3 billion ($3.3 billion) flowed into Europe's 161 listed biotechs, one-quarter more than they added to their coffers in all of 2014.

The jump was achieved despite a dip in the amount raised in IPOs on the region's 15 leading stock exchanges. In the first half of 2014, the IPO haul was bloated by Circassia Pharmaceuticals (LSE:CIR) huge listing, meaning that while the number of companies to go public is up by more than 50% in 2015, the amount they have raised is down. The IPO class of 2015--which is dominated by listings in Paris--have raised just short of €400 million, compared to €457 million in the previous year. Circassia accounted for more than half of the cash raised in European biotech IPOs in the first half of 2014.

While the absence of Circassia-style monster IPO has dragged on the data--Belgian diagnostic player Biocartis' (EBR:BCART) €100 million offering tops the 2015 league table--the British allergy specialist has still had a positive influence on the figures for this year. The year-on-year surge in the amount of money raised by biotechs listed in Europe was driven by a jump in secondary offerings and debt financings, a sum to which Circassia contributed with the £275 million it collected from investors in May. Overall, the amount raised from sources other than IPOs was up 140% year on year.

Circassia accounted for almost 15% of the ex-IPO money tallied up by Biocom, a Germany-based biotech market analyst. The other big component was the clutch of biotechs that, having already listed in Europe, headed to Nasdaq. Biocom grouped the money raised by these companies--such as Cellectis ($CLLS), Galapagos ($GLPG) and Celyad ($CYAD)--in with the secondary offerings as all of the businesses were already trading in Europe at the time of their listings on Nasdaq. Collectively, these Nasdaq listings accounted for around a quarter of the follow-on cash in Biocom's calculations.

- read the report (PDF)