Acceleron raises $93M as Celgene, investors rally around another biotech IPO

Acceleron Pharma took the 33rd spot today in the list of biotech companies which have gone public this year, raising $93 million after pricing its shares at the top of the range and selling a chunk of stock to its close partner Celgene ($CELG).

The biotech sold just under 5.6 million shares, upsizing an offering that initially projected the sale of 4.7 million shares. Acceleron began trading today under the "XLRN" symbol, part of a burst of new fall IPOs that got started with Five Prime's offering yesterday and is scheduled to continue this week with debuts from Fate Therapeutics and Bind Therapeutics, which was founded by MIT entrepreneur Bob Langer. And right after shares started tradining, they immediately shot up more than 30%, topping $20 a share.

FierceBiotech's latest tally now shows that 33 biotechs have raised around $2.5 billion from the market this year, a substantial amount of cash for an industry that was largely shut out of the market from 2008 until last fall.

Long allied with Celgene, Cambridge, MA-based Acceleron--a 2010 Fierce 15 company--built its road show around three mid-stage programs: Sotatercept, ACE-536 and dalantercept. The first two are allied with Celgene as new treatments designed to boost red blood cell production in patients suffering from rare cases of beta-thalassemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. ACE-536 won orphan drug status for both indications back in March. And dalantercept is designed to inhibit blood vessels that feed tumors.

Celgene initially signed on with Acceleron back in 2008, more recently expanding its collaboration to include 536. According to Acceleron's S-1, filed with the SEC, Celgene took over responsibility for all costs on the two programs at the beginning of this year and is committed to pay up to $567 million in milestones. Acceleron has co-promotion rights in the U.S. with a hefty 20%-plus royalty stream due on any sales made by Celgene.

Wall Street, of course, has been bullish about the IPO frenzy, as we saw this week with some upbeat comments from Cowen CEO Jeffrey Solomon, who touted the big amount of cash that's been raised by biotechs so far this year. Solomon in part attributed the burst of IPOs to the JOBS Act, which has helped small companies file IPO plans confidentially.   

- here's the press release

Special Reports: Acceleron Pharma - 2010 Fierce 15 | No end of biotech IPO frenzy in sight