Axovant Sciences Ltd (AXON) Soars 95 Percent On IPO

The shares of Axovant Sciences skyrocketed during its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company offered 21 million shares of common stock for $15 per share, the high-end of its expected offering price.

Axovant Sciences opened for trading at $20.93 per share, up by 40%. The stock continued to surge, and it is trading around $29.39 per share, up by 95% at the time of this writing around 1:15 in the afternoon in New York. The company has approximately $2.72 billion market capitalization.

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The biopharmaceutical company is offering all of its common shares. Axovant Sciences also granted its underwriters a 30-day option to acquire up to 3,150,000 additional common shares.

Jefferies, Evercore Group and RBC Capital Markets serve as the joint book-running managers of Axovant Sciences’ IPO. JMP Securities is the lead manager while Robert W. Baird & Co is the co-managers of the offering.

Axovant Sciences is focused on developing treatment for dementia

Axovant Sciences is focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for the treatment of dementia. Patients with dementia suffer a significant decline in mental capacity, which affects their daily activities.

According to the company, its objective is to become the leading dementia solutions company. Axovant Sciences is targeting dementia through multiple pharmacologic mechanisms.

More than 44 million people around the world are suffering from dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease International. Approximately 34 million people have Alzheimer’s disease. In the United States, 13.8 million people age 65 and older are expected to be affected by the disease by 2050. The estimate does not include patients under the age of 65, who currently account 4% of the total Alzheimer’s disease population.

Axovant Sciences lead drug candidate

In December 2014, Axovant Sciences acquired the worldwide rights to RVT-101, its lead drug candidate from GSK (GlaxoSmithKline). According to the company, RVT-101 will start a confirmatory Phase 3 clinical study in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The drug is orally administered and a potent antagonist of the 5-HT6 serotonin receptor. It helps improve the release of acetylcholine, glutamate and other neurotransmitters that are essential to cognition.