French Gensight intends to raise one of the biggest European IPOs on the American stock market. The gene-therapy specialist will pursue €90.6M to advance with two early-stage candidates for orphan eyes diseases.
Gensight will travel across the Ocean to look for the same success its compatriots had on the American stock market. The company will take the same path as Cellectis and DBV Technologies to raise the substantial amount of €90.7M ($100M). Should the Initial Public Offering be successful, Gensight’s could become one of the biggest European IPOs on NASDAQ.
The French biotech will use the raised cash to fund GS010 and GS030, both gene therapy candidates for ocular diseases. The first and most-advanced one seeks to cure Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a rare maternally inherited mitochondrial genetic disease that causes irreversible and severe loss of sight in teens and young adults. The disorder ultimately leads to blindness and disability, yet this could all be reversed with GS010. The candidate is an adeno-associated virus containing the human wild-type gene, in which mutations are associated with the disorder.
The second candidate, GS030, aims at treating Retinitis Pigmentosa, a disease that causes hereditary blindness and concerns about 1.5 million people around the world. A huge market niche that could be exploited by Gensight’s optogenetic therapy.
Voices have been raised announcing the biotech bubble bang soon to come. However, the companies, reckless or not, are still enthusiastically going to the stock market. Especially on the risky NASDAQ, for which the European companies have showed a particular preference. Looking at the recent IPO announcements, it seems that the flow of biotechs going public will continue this second half of the year.