Juno Therapeutics opened for trading for the first time on the NASDAQ today, and shares were off and running. The stock climbed as much as 64% during regular trading hours, slapping a value of approximately $3 billion on the company.
Juno Therapeutics offers 11 million shares
The biopharmaceutical company priced its initial public offering at $24 per share, which was higher than the previously expected range of between $21 and $23 per share, according to CNBC. At first, the company had been planning to offer just 9.25 million shares for between $15 and $18 per share.
Juno Therapeutics ended up raising $264.5 million in its IPO. The drug maker’s stock opened at $39 per share this morning. The opening value of $3 billion gives Juno the highest valuation for any biotech company going public since Renaissance Capital, an IPO research firm, started tracking this data about ten years ago, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Juno has no revenue
What’s perhaps most interesting about Juno’s very high valuation is the fact that it doesn’t have any revenue and has never reported a profit. Additionally, the drug maker doesn’t even have any products in late-stage trials.
Juno Therapeutics is developing cell-based cancer treatments that design T-cells to specifically target cancer cells through immunotherapy. CEO Hans Bishop told CNBC he thinks investors are optimistic on the promise offered by immunotherapy. He also admitted, however, that their treatments are still in the early stages of development.
Juno focuses on blood cancers
The Wall Street Journal reports that Juno intends to use the money it raised from its offering to pay for more clinical trials of its drugs. Currently the drug maker has treatments for leukemia and lymphoma in the pipeline.
The company intends to use the money to increase its manufacturing capabilities and pay for additional research and development. So far, early research suggests Juno’s treatments might help leukemia or lymphoma patients who otherwise have little chances of surviving.
June Therapeutics has been in business for a year, and the drug maker has successfully secured investments from mutual funds, which is rare for a biotech company. Earlier this year, the company held its second funding round in a year and raised $134 million.
A busy year for IPOs
Juno’s offering was one of the most anticipated biotech IPOs of the year. So far year to date, 292 companies, including Juno Therapeutics, have held IPOs on U.S. stock exchanges. It’s estimated that they have raised a cumulative $95 billion, making this year the best year for IPOs in 14 years.
Biotech firms in particularly have been especially busy this year, as they made up about a quarter of all the IPOs on U.S. exchanges. In fact, 71 biotech companies held their IPOs this year, a new record, and they raised nearly $5 billion, according to data compiled by Renaissance. That’s approximately twice last year’s activity and volume in the biotech industry.