By Mark Terry


Ghent, Belgium-based Ablynx NV announced the price of its U.S. initial public offering (IPO) at $17.50.

The company essentially lowered its offering price, but increased the number of shares it was offering, raising $200 million. If the underwriters pick up their 1.7-million-share allotment at the $17.50 price, the company could raise another $29 million. The company originally planned a $150 million target, but interest was high.

The company’s shares in Europe (ABLX BB) rose 25 percent after company announced earlier this month that its lead compound for an ultra-rare blood clotting disorder hit the primary and two key secondary endpoints in its Phase III trial. It is already under review with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for mid-stage results, and expects to file in the U.S. next year.

The drug, caplacizumab, according to John Carroll, writing for Endpoints News, “targets acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP), a disorder that triggers low platelet counts. In the Phase III study, researchers reported top-line results that included a significant (p=0.01) reduction in the time it took for the platelet counts to return to normal for the drug arm—a likely indicator for the prevention of microvascular thrombosis.”

On Oct. 16, Ablynx established Ablynx, Inc., a subsidiary in the U.S., and appointed Daniel Schneider as the General Manager. The goal is to commercialize caplacizumab in North America. At the time, the location of the company’s offices wasn’t specified other than “East Coast.” Prior to this position, Schneider was the General Manager of the Specialty Pharmaceuticals Business Unit at BTG International.

“The establishment of Ablynx, Inc. is an important milestone for the Company and confirms our commitment to becoming a fully integrated international biopharmaceutical company,” said Edwin Moses, Ablynx’ chief executive officer, in a statement. “We are very pleased that Dan is joining us. He brings many years of experience in setting up commercial organizations and leading multiple successful product launches in the USA. We look forward to joining forces to further develop our commercial infrastructure in preparation of the potential launch of caplacizumab.”

Caplacizumab is a bivalent VWF Nanobody. It received Orphan Drug Designation for aTTP in Europe and in the U.S. The compound blocks the interaction of ultra-large vWF multimers with platelets, which results in an immediate effect on micro-clots that cause severe thrombocytopenia, tissue ischemia and organ dysfunction found in aTTP.

The closing of the offering is planned for Oct. 27, 2017. BofA Merill Lynch, JP Morgan and Jefferies are the joint book-running managers for the offering. Baird, Bryan, Garnier & Co. and Ladenburg Thalmann are co-managers. JP Morgan is the stabilization agent for the underwriters.

While the U.S. IPO is ongoing, trading was suspended in Europe (Euronext Brussels: ABLX; OTC: ABYLY) at the request of Ablynx as of 1 PM CEST on Oct. 25 until opening of the stock exchange on Oct. 26, 2017.

The securities in the offering are offered only by means of a prospectus which can be obtained from BofA Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, or Jefferies.


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