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Oryzon Genomics to go public in early 2016

The Catalan biotechnology firm, valued at €95 millions, is preparing to be listed on the Spanish continuous market as a first step towards the Nasdaq

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25.09.2015

Oryzon Genomics will go public on the Spanish stock market in early 2016, according to a recent agreement of the company’s shareholders, becoming the first biotechnology firm to be traded on the Spanish Continuous Market. The company aims to go public before spring of next year and, months before, investors have valued it at €95 millions, according to Cinco Días, thanks to a capital increase carried out in recent weeks.

The Madrid Stock Exchange is the first step towards Oryzon’s end goal: to be traded on the Nasdaq, which is the largest technology market in the US. The leap to the Nasdaq will have to wait until early 2017 though, the company says. "We want to pick up more speed and experience. We’ll get there with our molecules in the most advanced phases of development,” says Oryzon CEO Carlos Buesa.

The biotechnology company will list 100% of its shares on the Spanish Continuous Market,which means they will be directly trading the company’s current shares. Among the conditions of the shareholders’ agreement, the main shareholders (Carlos Buesa, his wife Tamara Maes and the founding partners) have promised to hold on to their shares and not sell them for at least one year. Venture capital fund Najeti Capital (which holds 30% of the shares) has signed a six-month hold agreement, as has Josep Maria Echarri of Inveready.

Oryzon Genomics, a company founded in 2000 as a spin-off of the UB and the CSIC by Carlos Buesa and Tamara Maes, focuses on epigenetics to control gene function and develop personalized drugs for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

This operation, which they are now preparing, is another commitment to growth that has been made possible in part by the deal the company signed last year with Roche. The Swiss pharmaceutical company paid $21 millions for the rights to molecule ORY-1001 to treat acute myeloid leukemia and the company closed the year with net profit of €6.6 millions.

Roche has just paid Oryzon an additional $4 millions for meeting one of the milestones in clinical trials on the molecule, which is being tested on humans. Carlos Buesa explains that this phase assessed the safety, tolerance and pharmacokinetics of the molecule in patients with leukemia and was able to establish a recommended dosage of ORY-1001.

The Catalan biotechnology firm could see up to $500 millions from Roche depending on how the trials evolve. At the same time, Oryzon is also working with the ORY-2001 molecule for Alzheimer and has recently launched a capital increase of €6 millions. The company’s presence in the United States, through a subsidiary in Cambridge that they opened in October 2014, has been positive so far. Carlos Buesa says that Massachusetts "has welcomed them with arms wide open.”

 

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Carlos Buesa, president of the company. - Photo: ©Oryzon Genomics

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