London is a dynamic, competitive venue for biotech fundraising, a group of life sciences leaders tell attendees at Biotech Showcase 2016

The opportunities and benefits of listing in London and the strength of the UK’s private fundraising market will be highlighted at a workshop organised by the London Stock Exchange Group and MedCity, the life sciences promotional agency for England’s London-Oxford-Cambridge ‘golden triangle’. London and the UK: A global hub for life sciences and investment will take place at 0800 EST on Tuesday 12 January.

Speakers will include Daphne Zohar, CEO of PureTech Health, a Boston-based healthcare company that raised $196m in an IPO on London Stock Exchange in June 2015. She will be joined by Chris Mayo, CFA, Technology and Life Sciences lead, Primary Markets, at London Stock Exchange Group; Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity and CEO of UK biotech Immunocore; Saku Saha, Fund Manager, Woodford Investment Management; Steve Bates, CEO of the UK Bioindustry Association; and Paul Tomasic, Managing Director, European Head, Healthcare, Global Investment Banking, RBC Capital Markets.

London has seen a strong level of issuance by life sciences companies in recent years. In 2014 the anti-allergen company Circassia raised £200m to become the year’s largest biotech IPO globally by proceeds raised, while in 2015 the IPO of the life sciences-focused Woodford Patient Capital Trust was upsized from £200m to £800m ($300m to $1.2bn).

Aftermarket performance has been robust, with the FTSE AIM Healthcare Index up 26.93% in 2015 compared to 11.77% for the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index and 0.98% for the FTSE All Share Index.

The panel will also highlight London’s advantages for life sciences flotations, which include a dedicated community of small and micro capitalisation investors and brokers, providing smaller life sciences companies with more visibility and support, and the availability of US institutional investor capital to companies listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Chris Mayo, London Stock Exchange Group, comments:

“London has enjoyed a resurgence in life sciences-related capital raising in the last two years, with companies listing here attracting investors from all around the world, including US institutional investors. 2015 in particular has seen a surge of follow-on capital raisings, especially by small cap companies, many of which floated in the last 18 months. Life sciences IPOs perform strongly in London and there are huge benefits to listing here.”

The event at Biotech Showcase will focus in particular on London’s strength in IP commercialisation company flotations. Following the success Imperial Innovations and IP Group have experienced on London’s markets and the deep understanding developed by UK investors of IP commercialisation companies, US-based companies from this sector that have chosen to list in London include Allied Minds, which became London’s best performing Main Market IPO of 2014, and PureTech Health in 2015.

PureTech’s CEO Daphne Zohar says:

“Our premium listing on the main market of the LSE was warmly received by a broad base of sophisticated fund managers and sector analysts. With around $260m in cash, we are advancing our products, several of which have pivotal study readouts in the next two years, to the patients who greatly need them. PureTech is taking a different path to bringing novel medicines from invention to patients which, similar to London’s IP commercialisation companies, has advantages such as diversification of risk.”

Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity, says:

“There is a growing momentum of life sciences investment in the UK reflecting the strength and reputation of the London market and, contrary to popular belief, the traffic across the Atlantic is pretty equal – with exciting US-based IP commercialisation companies in particular choosing to list in London. The London Stock Exchange offers exciting opportunities for life sciences companies, and our aim at Biotech Showcase is to increase awareness of that.”

Steve Bates, CEO of the UK BioIndustry Association, which is supporting the event, adds:

“The UK biotech ecosystem is flourishing and continues to lead Europe in terms of capital raised and the pipeline being produced by our globally competitive companies. 2015 was another great year for UK biotech – we have a strong and supporting fiscal environment, with new patient capital pools and open public markets, we produce investable science and have effective translation capability. It’s been fantastic to see BIA members achieving success on the London Stock Exchange to raise the funds they need to progress with their ground-breaking research and development.”

2016’s Biotech Showcase, a leading annual investor and networking conference, takes place 11-13 January 2016 in San Francisco.

The London Stock Exchange Group and MedCity will also host the second Future of Healthcare Investor Forum on Wednesday 27 January 2016, an annual event to highlight the significant investment opportunities within the UK healthcare sector. Find out more about the event here.

MedCity was launched in April 2014 by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the UK capital’s three academic health science centres – Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre, King’s Health Partners and UCLPartners. It is funded by the Mayor of London and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.