Biotech IPOs are staggering as the bulls begin to fade back

Third Rock startup MyoKardia staggered onto Nasdaq on Wednesday, pricing its IPO at $10 a share--a deep, bargain basement discount from the hefty range it set for itself.

The biotech raised $54 million--tens of millions of dollars below its expectations--along with fresh questions over the fate of the biotech IPO window.

MyoKardia's experience has now been shared by a group of biotechs, including the gene therapy player Dimension Therapeutics, which has braved chilly market waters in pursuit of new operating funds. The IPO window may not be closed, but the giddy days of going public with sky-high valuations appear to be behind us--at least for now. And that will raise fresh questions for other biotechs still in the queue for Nasdaq, or looking to make the leap.

Paris-based gene therapy biotech GenSight Biologics is looking to make the leap across the Atlantic, and just updated the terms for its filing, with an eye to raising up to $70 million.

GenSight has been developing a gene therapy, GS010, for rare cases of Leber hereditary optical neuropathy, or LHON, which triggers the loss of sight among young people. The treatment uses a viral vector to deliver a corrective copy of the ND4 gene. 

Not long ago, that kind of profile would have warranted some eager interest on Wall Street. But with generalists apparently bowing out, GenSight is facing the same hurdles as everyone else in biotech these days.

- here's the latest filing from GenSight