initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Friday, July 29, 2011

Horizon Pharma opens flat post-IPO

The IPO of biopharmaceutical firm Horizon Pharma Inc. (HZNP) stuck close to its opening price in early trading Thursday.

The company's stock opened at $9 a share on the Nasdaq, flat with its initial public offering price. It sold 5.5 million shares at a price below its expected $10 to $12 range.

Though the stock's early performance wasn't too exciting, the fact that the deal got done at all is noteworthy. There hasn't been a pharmaceutical company IPO since late April, when Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SGNT) went public. Since then, volatile broader market conditions have weighed on new issuance in the sector, which is considered a higher-risk industry than most due to the early stage of many of the companies.

Horizon Pharma specializes in developing drugs for arthritis, pain and inflammatory diseases. In April the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a pill it created called Duexis that combines ibuprofen and famotidine. The combination is designed to reduce upper gastrointestinal ulcers in arthritis patients who ordinarily would take ibuprofen alone.

The company plans to launch the drug commercially in the U.S. in the fourth quarter. It has also submitted an application to sell the drug in the U.K., and expects a decision in the first half of 2012.

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