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Healthcare IPOs That Delivered Solid Returns In 2019

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2020 will be upon us soon. It's time to take stock of some of the US healthcare IPOs that rewarded investors in 2019. As of this writing, 76 healthcare companies have made their debut on the bourses in 2019 compared to more than 80 in the previous year and 50 in 2017.

In terms of IPO price per share, the top three in the list are 10x Genomics Inc. (TXG), a pioneer in single-cell sequencing processes, at $39 per share, followed by Livongo Health Inc. (LVGO), a digital health company, at $28 per share and SmileDirectClub Inc. (SDC), the teeth-straightening company, at $23 per share.

At the bottom of the list as far as the IPO price is concerned are Guardion Health Sciences Inc. (GHSI) at $4 per share, TFF Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TFFP) at $5 per share, Happiness Biotech Group Limited (HAPP) at $5.50 per share and Hoth Therapeutics Inc. (HOTH) at $5.60 per share.

Listed below are some of the healthcare IPOs of 2019 that have delivered more than 50% returns and their anticipated milestones.

1. Akero Therapeutics Inc. (AKRO)

Akero Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing therapies for metabolic diseases like nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

The Company's shares made their debut on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 20, 2019, at an offer price of $16 per share. The stock opened its first day of trading at a price of $16.16, and it went on to touch a high of $30.30 in intraday trading on August 29, representing a gain of 89%. Although now the stock has given back some of its gains, it still trades at a 43% premium to its IPO price. The lock-up period expires on December 17, 2019.

The lead product candidate is AKR-001, which is under a phase IIa clinical trial for the treatment of NASH, dubbed BALANCE.

What next?

The Company is on track to report results of the BALANCED study's primary endpoint in the first quarter of 2020 and full study results in the second quarter of 2020.

AKRO closed Wednesday's trading at $23.00, down 5.54%.

2. Applied Therapeutics Inc. (APLT)

Applied Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, galactosemia and diabetic complications.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Market on May 14, 2019, pricing its shares at $10 each. The stock opened the first day of trading at $8.40, well below its IPO price. An all-time high of $26.51 was recorded in intraday trading on December 5, representing a gain of 165% in almost 7 months. The lock-up period expired on November 11, 2019.

The lead product candidate in the pipeline is AT-001, which is under a phase III registrational trial for AT-001 in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy, dubbed ARISE-HF.

Also in the pipeline is AT-007, which is under a phase I/II study in Galactosemia, a rare pediatric metabolic disease, dubbed ACTION-Galactosemia. Data from the adult Galactosemia patient portion of the trial is due this quarter.

APLT closed Wednesday's trading at $20.93, down 0.10%.

3. Avedro Inc. (AVDR)

Avedro Inc, formerly known as ThermalVision, Inc., is a commercial-stage ophthalmic medical technology focused on treating corneal ectatic disorders and improving vision to reduce dependency on eyeglasses or contact lenses.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Market on February 14, 2019, pricing its shares at $14 each. The stock opened the first day of trading at $11.59, well below the IPO price, and it went on to touch an intraday high of $27.29 on September 19, representing a gain of nearly 95% in 7 months. The lock-up period expired on August 13, 2019.

Avedro was acquired by Glaukos Corp. (GKOS) last month.

4. Castle Biosciences Inc. (CSTL)

Castle Biosciences is a commercial-stage dermatological cancer company selling genetic tests to make more accurate treatment decisions. The Company markets DecisionDx-Melanoma, a genetic test that predicts the risk of metastasis or recurrence for patients diagnosed with invasive cutaneous melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, and DecisionDx-UM, a proprietary genetic test that predicts the risk of metastasis for patients with uveal melanoma, a rare eye cancer.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Market on July 25, 2019, pricing its shares at $16 each. The stock opened the first day of trading at $20, well above the IPO price, and it touched a high of $31.16 in intraday trading on December 6, representing a gain of nearly 95%. Having shed some of its gains, CSTL trades around $29. The lock-up period expires on January 21, 2020.

The Company reported strong third-quarter financial results last month. Two new products - DecisionDx-SCC test for use in patients diagnosed with high risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and a skin cancer product for use in patients with a suspicious pigmented lesion - are expected to be launched in the second half of 2020.

CSTL closed Wednesday's trading at $29.35, up 0.03%.

5. Cortexyme Inc. (CRTX)

Cortexyme is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for altering the course of Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on May 9, 2019, pricing its shares at $17 each. The stock, which opened at $20.17 in its first day of trading, touched an intraday high of $47.50 on June 18, returning a gain of 135% in 1 month. The lock-up period expired on November 5, 2019.

Cortexyme's lead drug candidate is COR388, which is under a phase II/III study in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, dubbed GAIN.

The Company ended September 30, 2019, with cash, equivalents, and investments of $127.8 million.

What next?

The GAIN study is designed to enroll 570 patients across 90 sites in the United States and Europe, with top-line results from the trial expected in the fourth quarter of 2021.

CRTX closed Wednesday's trading at $33.36, up 2.11%.

6. Gossamer Bio Inc. (GOSS)

Gossamer Bio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a focus on the disease areas of immunology, inflammation, and oncology.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on February 8, 2019, pricing its shares at $16 each. The stock opened the first day of trading at $19 per share and it touched a new high of $26.90 on December 10, and that reflects a gain of 68% in 10 months. The lock-up period expired on August 7, 2019.

Gossamer's lead drug candidate is GB001, which is under a phase IIb study in moderate-to-severe eosinophilic asthma, dubbed LEDA. An interim analysis of this trial is expected in the first half of 2020 and topline results are expected in the second half of 2020.

GB001 is also being tested in a phase II study in chronic rhinosinusitis, with and without nasal polyps, known as TITAN.

A translational phase II trial of GB001 in chronic spontaneous urticaria is slated to be initiated in the first half of 2020.

The other clinical assets include:

-- GB002 in patients with PAH, under phase Ib trial The initial topline results from the study are expected in the first half of 2020. A phase II study in patients with PAH is expected to be initiated in the first half of 2020.
-- GB004 for inflammatory bowel disease, under phase Ib trial. The initial topline results from the study are expected in the first half of 2020.
-- GB1275 for oncology indications, under a phase I/II trial. Initial data from this study is expected in the second half of 2020.

GOSS closed Wednesday's trading at $26.79, up 0.22%.

7. InMode Ltd. (INMD)

InMode manufactures and markets minimally invasive products based on radio-frequency technology for aesthetic medical procedures such as contouring, skin treatment, acne, hair removal, anti-aging, women's health & wellness, pigment, and vascular issues.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on August 8, 2019, pricing its shares at $14 each. The stock, which opened the first day of trading at $13.50, has since been climbing and it touched a high of $58.76 in intraday trading on November 18, returning a gain of nearly 320% in 3 months. Though the stock has retraced some of its gains, it still trades at 200% premium to its IPO price. The lock-up period expires on February 4, 2020.

InMode has significantly improved its revenue and net income over the years, thanks to the growing demand for its products in the United States and abroad. For the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, the Company reported an 88% increase in net income and 57% revenue growth.

INMD closed Wednesday's trading at $42.65, down 3.94%.

8. Karuna Therapeutics Inc. (KRTX)

Karuna Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical developing novel therapies for fatal neuropsychiatric disorders and pain.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Market on June 28, 2019, pricing its shares at $16 each. The stock opened the first day of trading at $18.50 and was trading in a range of $11 to $23 until November 15.

On November 18, the Company announced that its phase II clinical trial of KarXT for the treatment of acute psychosis in patients with schizophrenia met the primary endpoint, sending the stock soaring to $100 in intraday trading that day. The following day, i.e. on November 19, the stock added some more gains to touch an intraday high of $152. That reflects a gain of 850% from its IPO price.

The lock-up period expires on December 25, 2019.

What next?

--An end-of-phase II meeting related to KarXT for the treatment of psychosis in schizophrenia is expected in the second quarter of 2020.
-- A phase Ib trial of KarXT for the treatment of cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia is slated for initiation in the first half of next year.
-- A phase Ib trial of KarXT for the treatment of negative symptoms in schizophrenia is also slated for initiation in the first half of next year.

KRTX closed Wednesday's trading at $64.42, down 3.19%.

9. NextCure Inc. (NXTC)

NextCure is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation immunomedicines for cancer and other immune-related diseases by restoring normal immune function.

The Company made its debut on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on May 9, 2019, pricing its shares at $15 each, which opened at $15.55 on the first day of trading. The stock touched a high of $109 in intraday trading on November 5, representing a gain of 627% in 6 months. Although it has given back most of its gains, the stock still trades at a 250% premium to its IPO price. The lock-up period expired on November 5, 2019.

The Company's lead drug candidate is NC318, which has the potential to treat multiple cancer indications.

The phase II portion of a phase I/II clinical trial of NC318 in patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumors is underway. Clinical data from phase I portion of the study was reported last month, sending the stock up over 300% on November 5, 2019.

The Company expects to submit an investigational new drug application to the FDA for its second product candidate, NC410, in the first quarter of 2020.

NXTC closed Wednesday's trading at $51.55, down 2.96%.

10. Silk Road Medical Inc (SILK)

Silk Road Medical is a commercial-stage medical device company marketing products for the treatment of carotid artery disease and stroke.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Market on April 4, 2019, pricing its shares at $20.00 each. The stock opened at $33.15 a share in its stock market debut and it went on to touch a high of $51.50 in intraday trading on June 10, 2019.

Although the stock has given back most of its gains, it still trades at a 70% premium to the IPO price. The lock-up period expired on October 1, 2019.

For the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, the results of which were announced in October, the Company reported a narrower loss and 77% revenue growth over last year.

Looking ahead to full-year 2019, the Company expects 79% to 82% revenue growth over the company's prior-year revenue.

SILK closed Wednesday's trading at $34.86, up 0.75%.

11. Turning Point Therapeutics Inc. (TPTX)

Turning Point Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted oncology therapies.

The Company made its debut on the Nasdaq Global Market on April 17, 2019, pricing its shares at $18 each. The stock, which opened the first day of trading at $24.25, has been on the uptrend and it touched a high of $58.56 on August 28, 2019. That represents a gain of 225% over its IPO price. The lock-up period expired on October 14, 2019.

The Company's lead drug candidate is Repotrectinib, under a phase I/II trial for the treatment of patients with ROS1+ advanced NSCLC and patients with ROS1+, NTRK+ or ALK+ advanced solid tumors, dubbed TRIDENT-1. The phase I portion of the trial has yielded promising results, according to the Company.

The phase II portion of the TRIDENT-1 study was initiated in June of this year. Early interim results from initial patients enrolled in the study are expected during the second half of 2020.

A phase I/II clinical study of TPX-0046 in patients with advanced solid tumors harboring RET genetic alterations, and a phase I/II clinical study of Repotrectinib in pediatric patients with ALK-, NTRK- and ROS1-positive solid tumors were initiated last month.

TPTX closed Wednesday's trading at $53.10, down 0.67%.

12. 10x Genomics Inc. (TXG)

10x Genomics is a life science technology company developing single-cell sequencing lab hardware and software. The Company generates revenue from the sale of its Chromium solutions and in particular its Single Cell Gene Expression solutions. These products have enabled researchers to make fundamental discoveries across multiple areas of biology, including oncology, immunology, and neuroscience.

The Company went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on September 12, 2019, pricing its shares at $39 each. The stock opened its first day of trading at $54, well above its IPO price, and it went on to touch a high of $68.36 in intraday trading on November 18, reflecting a gain of 75% in 2 months. The lock-up period expires on March 10, 2020.

10x Genomics' Chromium platform continues to see strong momentum and the recent third-quarter financial results are a testimony to it.

The net loss for the third quarter of 2019 narrowed by 37% while revenue improved by 67% over the year-ago quarterly numbers. For full-year 2019, the Company expects revenue growth of 63% to 65% over full-year 2018 revenue.

TXG closed Wednesday's trading at $65.16, down 1.20%.

Related reading

Darling Dozen - 12 Healthcare IPOs That Didn't Disappoint

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