Biotechs pocket another $115M as the IPO boom thunders on

Flexion Therapeutics ($FLXN) and Eagle Pharmaceuticals ($EGRX) are the latest drug developers to ride the bull market for biotechs into a public debut, bringing in a combined $115 million in a week that could see as many as 5 life sciences IPOs.

Burlington, MA's Flexion pulled off a $60 million offering, pricing right in the middle of its range, and the biotech expects its haul to fund late-stage studies for a pipeline of pain drugs. Leading the way is the sustained-release steroid FX006, a Phase III-ready treatment for osteoarthritis pain, followed by the Phase II FX005 for end-stage osteoarthritis and the preclinical FX007 for postoperative pain.

Eagle Pharmaceuticals priced a $50 million IPO, also in the middle of its expectations, and will put its money toward developing improved versions of successful injectables. Eagle has already submitted for FDA approval the drug EP-3101, a spin on Teva's ($TEVA) hematologic cancer treatment Treanda, and it's in the midst of late-stage studies for a shorter infusion time formulation of the same drug. The company already has two approved products and another four "me-better" treatments in development.

Still on deck for this week is Concert Pharmaceuticals, which plans to raise up to $80 million to fund mid-stage trials for CTP-354, a treatment for spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, and late-stage studies of CTP-499, which treats diabetic kidney disease. And medical device outfit Amedica is looking to pick up as much as $38.4 million and debut as "AMDA."

Including NephroGenex's ($NRX) $37 million Tuesday raise, this week has heaped $152 million into the coffers of eager life sciences companies, and the total could swell to as high as $270 million by week's end. Last week, a record 8 drug and diagnostics developers made their way to Wall Street in exchange for more than $500 million, a jarring reminder that investors are still bullish about high-risk biotech stocks.

Whether that excitement can endure much longer is the topic of much debate. The word "bubble" seems to get floated more and more as the industry continues its sprint for the public markets, and the so-so stock performance of a few once-soaring IPOs has triggered some alarms among analysts. But as long as offerings keep pricing, biotechs will keep lining up, and February's deluge is sure to encourage quite a few IPO hopefuls.

- read Flexion's announcement
- check out Eagle's note

Special Report: Fresh burst of biotech IPO pitches launches a busy Q4 season

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