A series of new listings announcements by US life sciences firms have highlighted London’s growing profile as a place to secure funding
Boston’s PureTech is the latest company to announce plans to float in London, saying that it hopes to raise $160m to advance its work to license and commercialise academic research.
According to Chief Executive Daphne Zohar, London was “top choice” for the company because it “leads the world in the listed technology-transfer space”. She told the Wall Street Journal:
“There are pioneering investors in this space as well as peers, and analysts that really understand the model.”
The presence of knowledgeable investors is also behnd the decision of California’s Verseon to shun Nasdaq in favour of London’s AIM, according to its Chief Executive Adityo Prakash. Verseon raised $100m in early May to advance its development of computer-designed molecules for new drugs, thanks to UK investors including Neil Woodford who are committed to taking a long-term view.
Welcoming the news, MedCity’s Executive Chair Dr Eliot Forster said:
“The UK is a very supportive place for life sciences companies and investors. While traditionally we have not been typically able to unlock the levels of investment that you find in the USA, what we can increasingly offer is significant funding from investors that are willing to take a long-term view.
“That’s extremely attractive to companies developing new medicines, and I expect it to result in more London IPOs by both UK and international companies, that are also attracted here by our competitive fiscal environment and opportunities to partner with world-leading academic and healthcare centres.”
Figures from the UK BioIndustry Association released earlier this year showed that life sciences IPOs and follow on offerings on the London Stock Exchange raised £1.25bn in 2014.