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Convergence considers IPO after GSK spin-off, as European biotech revives

16/06/2014 by


Convergence Pharmaceuticals, a specialist pain drug company spun off from GlaxoSmithKline, is preparing for a possible stock market listing as British biotech companies enjoy a revival of interest from investors.

The European sector has been slow to catch up with its U.S. peers, which have seen a renaissance in the past two years, but since allergy drug developer Circassia raised 200 million pounds ($335 million) in March – the biggest London market debut in years for a biotech company – the wider industry’s fortunes have turned.

Now Convergence Pharmaceuticals, which was created in 2010 following GSK’s decision to exit certain areas of neuroscience, says it could raise between 50 million and 100 million pounds in another substantial initial public offering.

Chief Executive Clive Dix said on Monday that listings in London and New York were under consideration, with a potential flotation most likely to take place early next year as the group readies its most advanced drug for final-stage clinical testing.

“We are now starting to talk to advisers about the state of the FTSE and Nasdaq markets for biotech and are considering seriously floating the company,” Dix said in an interview. “We’d probably be looking to go out early next year.”

A further funding round from venture capital investors, who have already put up $35.4 million, is a fallback option if the window for biotech IPO fund-raisings closes before then, he added.

Convergence’s backers include Apposite Capital, New Leaf and SV Life Sciences. GSK also retains an 18 percent stake in Convergence.

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