initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Biotech IPOs this week: Akebia Therapeutics (AKBA), Versartis (VSAR), MediWound (MDWD)

Three biotechnology IPOs are coming up this week that might be worth watching, given how well that most of those launched in the last few months have done….

First on the list is Akebia Therapeutics, whose symbol will be AKBA. IPO Renaissance Capital says the strike price should be somewhere between $14 to $17 a share, with 4.9 million shares expected to hit the market.

Akebia specializes in treating anemia through a rather unusual method — adopting the mountain life. That’s an oversimplification, but the company has discovered that simulating high-altitude conditions can increase red blood cell production and stabilize iron supply in bone marrow. That, in turn, helps to fight anemia.

The second making its debut is Versartis Inc., going by the symbol VSAR. A total 4.6 million shares are to be filed at $16 to $19 apiece. It is developing an orphan drug consisting of a hormone designed to treat pediatric growth deficiency.

IPO Boutique sent out a note Tuesday increasing its rating on the shares on word that the upcoming listing is getting “a great deal of attention from the Street.”  On Monday, IPO Boutique said the offering is “multiple times oversubscribed.”

Finally, the third is Israeli-based MediWound Ltd., whose symbol will be MDWD. A total 5 million shares are up for grabs at $14 to $16 apiece.

This company makes an agent known as NexoBrid, used to remove dead skin left from severe burns. It has already been approved for use by the European Medicines Agency. That was enough for CNBC’s Jim Cramer to declare the stock a standout from the other two on his “Mad Money” program this week.

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