Here are 7 European Biotechs listed on the NASDAQ we thought were worth mentioning in more depth; location, market cap and brief financial and R&D backgrounds.
NASDAQ is the second-largest Stock exchange in the world, based in New York, and the largest for high-tech companies.
It seems to be the real test for a European biotech to make it big these days is its transition to the other side of the Atlantic, where big financial biotech ecosystems exist in the Bay Area of SF (see our documentary) and the Boston area in Massachusetts.
Here, the truly elite in the industry come together and collaborate (such as at the JP Morgan phenomenon), with big money for development.
So in no particular order (or ranking) here are the 7 that caught my attention …
Location: Paris (France)
Market Cap: €1.16Bn
Peanuts Allergies in Children can be life-threatening, with next to no safe treatment options available. Now DBV Technologies in Paris has a phase III epicutaneous patch which desensitizes the patient to peanuts, with fast-track FDA approval.
This French biotech hit the headlines late last year with the Viaskin Peanut Patch. This is DBV’s lead candidate based on epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT). Other Viaskin patches target allergies to Milk (cow dairy – in Phase I/II) and Egg (experimental development).
DBV’s novel approach to immunotherapy has been already validated in one of the most successful European IPOs on NASDAQ, where the French company raised €90M last in 2014, and after successfully closing its Underwritten Public Offering, DBV finally raised €255M ($281.5M) on the NASDAQ.
Location: Oxford (UK)
Market Cap: €537.75M
GSK had cottoned on to the potentially life-altering effects of targeting TCRs for NY-ESO therapy back in June 2014 when it signed a partnership with Adaptimmune to invest in the program.Back in June, Adaptimmune’s CEO James Noble detailed this deal has a 7-year growth potential and, on condition of certain pipeline milestones being met, would warrant further investment by GSK amounting an excess of €311M.
However, Adaptimmune was also listed as one of the most volatile biotech stocks to watch by News Oracle. The stock has been swapping around – it IPO’ed at a price of $17 in May 2015, then peaked at $21 one month later and is currently bit above $8…
Update: IPO price was $17 not $16
Location: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Market Cap: €308M
UniQure is the first Biotech worldwide to bring a gene therapy on the market. The sky-high cost of Glybera (over a million euros) shows how single curative therapies to fix faulty genes may upend the conventional pharmaceutical business model.
uniQure’s financial report of the first half of 2015 showed good results, cash and cash equivalents of the company increased to €181.9M, compared with €53.2M at the end of 2014. UniQure owes this growth mostly to a lucrative collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which until now made payments of about €125M to the Dutch biotech.
However, UniQure faces a setback concerning its gene therapy Glybera that is approved in Europe since 2012 but still waits for approval on the US market.
Location: Paris (France)
Market Cap: €702.5M
Cellectis is an exciting Biotech as it pioneered gene editing with meganucleases and its TALEN platform – now leading the way in allogenic CAR-T therapies.
Most recently, it submitted a clinical trial application to the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) 2 days before Christmas to approve initiation of the First-in-Human clinical investigation for UCART19 (the first Universal CAR-T product) for leukemia.
We also recently met André Choulika, CEO of Cellectis for an interview on the progress of this ‘Miracle cure’ for Cancer (so labelled by the press). However, on UCART19 he was keen to refute the hype surrounding the latest application in the UK, which saved a baby girl with terminal ALL a couple of months back.
Nonetheless, Cellectis has had a successful couple of financial years, having quadrupled their share-value just over 12 months and partnering up with two Big pharmas (Servier and Pfizer) on their UCART pipeline.
Location: Mont-Saint-Guibert (Belgium)
Market Cap: €316.6M
Celyad is also a CAR-T contender. Previously named Cardio3 Biosciences, the company is currently developing clinical stage cell therapies in cardiology and oncology – two healthcare segments with high unmet medical needs and launched an introduction on the New York’s stock market in May last year.
Having already been listed on Euronext Paris and Euronext Brussels, Celyad aimed to raise €103.2M ($115 million) on the American stock market and clearly succeeded in it.
Lately, investors seem more than happy to invest in immunotherapy projects and the cash will help the Belgium company to progress with C-Cure, Celyad’s most advanced product candidate (which based on its Cardiopoiesis platform is being developed for heart failure).
Location: Oxford (UK)
Market Cap: €206M
The intense research activity in Oxford University has led to the creation of hundreds of spinouts in the past 15 years, including some successful stories of the recent Biotech History such as Oxford Nanopore and Oxford Immunotec.
Oxford Immunotec has developed a proprietary T-SPOT technology platform allows us to measure the responses of the T-cells for diagnosis of a range of diseases, such as Tuberculosis. This test has already been approved for sale in over 50 countries, including the US (with FDA approval) and CE Mark approval for Japan and China also.
The potential of the company is much larger than just tuberculosis. Measuring T-Cells precisely can have a significant impact as a reliable biomarker in Immunotherapies and the treatment of cancer. This could be the future of cancer treatments and Oxford Immunotec’s technology could be of great use.
Location: Heidelberg (Germany)
Market Cap: €89.21M
Affimed is trialling immunotherapies for cancers through TandAbs, which are bi-specific (binding to multiple target sites at once) due to their tandem structure.
The leading candidate, AFM13, is in phase II trials for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and has shown some really promising results from its pre-clinical studies, where tumors shrank up to 90% when treated intandem with check-point inhibitors. Other candidates include one for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Acute Lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).
These 7 European Biotechs are all full of potential and have been able to use the financial depth of the American market to further develop. Of course, there are many more Biotech companies on the NASDAQ, 25 to be precise, and I may pick up some of them in a next article. Stay tuned 😉
By then, I would be curious to here your thoughts? Which European biotech company quoted on the NASDAQ makes you crazy?