In case you didn’t already know — health care is big business. A large percentage of companies going through the initial public offering (IPO) process in the past few weeks are focused on health. From biotech and pharma firms like Benitec Biopharma, Global Blood Therapeutics, Aimmune Therapeutics, Intec Pharma, and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals to franchised low-cost gym chain Planet Fitness and all the way to Austin, Texas-based “better-for-you” snack food manufacturer Amplify Snack Brands — the scales on Wall Street are clearly leaning towards cleaner, healthier living.
During one week in early August, three biotech companies had successful IPOs and averaged 22% returns on the first day, while two consumer companies and one energy company went public with an average first-day return of -11%. Even though about 45% of IPOs this year are currently trading below their offer price, the majority of biotech and pharma companies have been finding robust investor support and soaring valuations:
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals had a very impressive IPO, closing up 75% after its first week. Like GW Pharmaceuticals, Zynerba is a preclinical biotech company developing cannabinoid-based treatments.
GW Pharmaceuticals’ value has gone up more than 1,000% since its IPO. The success of both companies’ recent IPOs highlights the strong investor interest in preclinical biotech companies.
Aimmune Therapeutics had a first-day increase of 51%. The company is developing an oral immunotherapy to desensitize peanut allergies.
DBV Technologies, a French biotech developing immunotherapy patches for food allergies, has seen its value increase 83% since its IPO.
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Michael McLellan covers the business of restaurants, marketing, media, technology, and more for Dun & Bradstreet and Hoover’s. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s Radio-Television-Film program. Follow him on Twitter.