2014, the Biggest Year Ever for European Biotech IPOs

2014 IPO London

There is no need to say it: biotechnology is the latest trend. A worldwide bio-boom has shaken stock markets throughout 2014. For European start-ups, last year represented a remarkable step forward as 15 companies went public and raised €719.8M in total, as Biocom’s last report states. Let me present you a review summering the major breakthroughs in the Old World.

Since the biotech boom started back in the 80’s, investment for European biotech companies had never been so significant. The European market remained unwelcoming for life science start-ups, but this pattern has changed in 2014 with the launch of 15 biotech IPOs (Initial Public Offering) on European markets. As Biocom’s last report states, a total of €719,8M went from public investors’ accounts to the pocket of European biotech companies, more than twice as much as was generated in the previous 5 years (€303M, from 2009 to 2013).


Today, London is the leading, with 33 companies listed. The UK is also the proud homeland of Circassia, the biggest of the fifteen European biotech IPOs in 2014. The allergy specialist raised €267.7M in an initial public offering. Another British flagship is Abzena, that has raised €26.7M valuing the company at €104.2M.


France, with 32 exchanges housed in Paris, is close behind. I have already introduced you to Pixium Visium, who joined the revolution of bionic eyes. The company, founded in 2011 in France, raised €34.5M in an IPO, achieving a total value of €100M (June 2014). The cleantech company Fermentalg also completed a successful IPO in Paris, resulting in a capital increase of €40.4M, and taking the company’s total market capitalization to €107M.


The other four European life science IPOs in 2014 took place in Amsterdam, Brussels, Oslo, and Zurich. Small trading centers such as Zurich has demonstrated once more to be attractive for life science start-ups. The Swiss company Molecular Partners announced in December that the total offer size of the IPO amounted to €100.6M. In the other hand, the Neuer Markt Stock Exchange, in Frankfurt, is still waiting for his first biotech IPO in years… The German developer of Alzheimer’s treatments, Probiodrug, for instance, chose the Dutch market to go public. The company raised €22.5M in Euronext Amsterdam.

The US are still at the top of the list, with more than $5BN raised by biotech IPOs in 2014. However, Europe is catching up with a slow but increasing development. Last year’s results are a really good and encouraging sign for European biotech industries. The generated cash income, will not only lead to further growth but also promote new start-ups in the sector. The future of European biotechs looks very promising.

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