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IPO Calendar 2014: This year is forecast to be a record year for initial public offerings (IPOs).
Over the January to March period, some 250 to 300 new issues will launch, according to professional services firm EY – a number not seen since the start of the 2008 financial crisis.
And biotech companies are the hottest issues to date.
Since 2000, no two-week period saw more than six new biotech issues – until now.
Last week, five of nine companies priced were biotechs. This week, eight of 10 companies hitting the market are biotechs.
Moreover, a pair of companies last week became the only two biotechs since 2000 to double in price on their first day of trading.
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA), which develops treatments for cancer and liver diseases, popped 207% when it debuted Jan. 30. Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: RARE), focusing on genetic disease treatments, followed with a 101% one-day surge on Jan. 31.
Following are eight offerings from the red-hot biotech sector on this week's IPO calendar:
- Argos Therapeutics focuses on the development and commercialization of fully personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. One of the company's products in development is currently being fully funded by the National Institutes of Health under a $40 million contract. Based in Durham, N.C., Argos hopes to raise $69 million in a 4.3 million share offering. The price range is $13 to $15. Shares will launch Friday, Feb. 7, on the Nasdaq with the ticker ARGS. Underwriters include Stifel Nicholas, Piper Jaffray, and JMP Securities.
- Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a "cutting edge company devoted to providing elegant and effective solutions to long standing healthcare issues," according to the company's statement. Pipeline treatments include therapies for movement disorders such as Tourette's syndrome. The La Jolla, Calif.-headquartered company will offer 5.5 million shares at $10 to $12 each. Stifel Nicolas and BMO are lead underwriters. Shares started trading Wednesday, Feb. 5, at $12. At last check, shares were up $2.95, or 2.45%, at $14.95.