Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MondoBIOTECH Takes the PO out of IPO

Basel-based rare disease peptide therapeutics specialist Mondobiotech said today it was listing on the Swiss Exchange, though the company isn't raising any money right now.

The listing-without-raising strategy isn't all that Bizarro; it has been pulled off before during another time of IPO difficulty, by Speedel Group (in 2006, also on the Swiss exchange). Others have probably done it as well, though we can't remember any other biotechs off the top of our heads.

Speedel managed to secure itself a much better valuation than it would have if it had proceeded with plans to go public in 2005. But Mondobiotech never filed to raise shares in the first place. Instead it plans to

"increase its share capital through the issuance of new shares out of its existing authorized share capital on a continuous basis following the listing. The company intends to issue such new shares to existing shareholders, new investors and/or individuals and entities that are directly or indirectly affected by and/or involved in the treatment of rare and neglected diseases, such as patients, their relatives and friends, patient advocacy organisations, physicians, scientists, academic organisations, research institutions, hospitals, employees, consultants and other service providers to Mondobiotech."

So, no details on how much the company plans to raise, though certain partners like Biogen Idec have committed to invest in the company's IPO as part of previous deals. Biogen Idec licensed aviptadil from Mondobiotech back in 2006. The compound, an inhaled peptide also known as vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, is in Phase II for pulmonary arterial hypertension; as part of the deal Biogen committed to a $5 million stake in a Mondobiotech IPO.

Besides Biogen the biotech has deals with Intermune (in 2002, on interferon gamma), 23andMe (2008, for genotyping of rare diseases), and a subsidiary of United Therapeutics called LungRx (2007, options on five undisclosed candidates, one of which was exercised and targets MRSA).

Here are some fun facts from Mondobiotech's listing prospectus:

1. The company has about CHF 7.7mm in cash/equivalents.
2. Mondobiotech's board of directors is more regal than your board of directors. It consists of Prinz Michael von und zu Liechtenstein, Bernadette Stadler, and Graf Francis von Seilern Aspang.
3. The company's new HQ, under renovation until 2012, is in a 14th Century monastery, licensed to the group by the Canton of Nidwalden.
4. From 2006-2008 the company raised CHF 27.7 in private placements.

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