An IPO launched on Euronext Brussels by Hyloris Pharmaceuticals will finance the Belgian company’s efforts to make approved drugs more convenient and versatile in healthcare by providing them topically or intravenously.  

The target price of the IPO lies between €54M and €71M, and could give Hyloris a market cap of up to €284M. The Liège-based company will announce the final price of the offering late next week.

Of the total IPO proceeds, Hyloris will use about €23M to fund the development of its pipeline, which includes 12 programs in indications such as blood loss and skin infections. Another €11M will be used to set up a commercial team that will drive sales of an intravenous formulation of Sotalol that was co-developed with the US company AltaThera pharmaceuticals and approved by the FDA for the treatment of irregular heartbeat earlier this year.

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Hyloris makes intravenous or topical formulations of approved oral drugs to allow more convenient treatment options for patients. In the case of Sotalol, for example, patients with irregular heartbeats in the US would normally spend three days in hospital under monitoring while receiving the oral drug. With Sotalol delivered intravenously, the patients can go home from the hospital after just one day.

Hyloris has also co-developed a pain treatment with the New Zealand-based AFT Pharmaceuticals, which is now marketing the drug around the world. The most advanced drug in Hyloris’ pipeline is an intravenous formulation of the blood-clotting drug tranexamic acid, which could make it more suitable than currently for critical care of conditions such as hemorrhages. 

While the company has already brought two treatments to the market, it is still yet to be profitable, according to Belgian newspaper De Tijd. This may be because the company’s sales haven’t properly started yet, which could be the purpose of setting up a commercial team in the US.

While European biotech companies had impressive IPOs on US public markets last year, IPOs on European soil suffered, with just one to show: that of the Swedish company Ascelia Pharma. There have been two life sciences IPOs on European public markets in 2020 so far, counting those of Hyloris and the Finnish nanomedicine company NanoForm. More may follow from other life sciences companies that plan to list in Europe such as the Swedish companies AegirBio and Magle Chemoswed Holding. 

Even with a pandemic sweeping the globe, it seems that confidence is starting to return to European biotech IPO markets, though doubtless many surprises are still in store with this unprecedented year.


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