IPO Watch: Biofilm bug fighter Next Science shut its IPO after raising $35 million in three days
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Next Science, which is set to list on the ASX next week, is further down the road than many biotech companies that seek to go public.
For one thing, it has already has four products with regulatory approval for sales and marketing in the United States and has a fifth it expects to commence selling in Australia later this year.
That banked the company about $4 million in revenue for the 2018 financial year, a 419 per cent rise on the previous year.
And though it is deep in the red — about $20.7 million thanks to a massive increase in employee expenses due to 44 new hires, mostly in sales — Next Science had no trouble raising the money for its IPO, with CEO Judith Mitchell telling Stockhead it only took three days to reach its $35 million maximum.
“We disenfranchised a few people,” she said. “We were worried we’d have money to return.”
The company has significant heavyweight backing. Its chairman is George Savvides, who took health insurance heavyweight Medibank public in 2014, at the time the second largest float in Australia’s history. He also led the float of Sigma Healthcare in 1999.
It also had a “patient” angel investor in Lang Walker, the septuagenarian property magnate.
“He was the sole funder for the first five years,” Mitchell told Stockhead. “So we didn’t need to raise capital early. But now we are looking to extend our portfolio to more applications, more partners, so we think the business is in shape to go to the public markets.”
Next Science has developed a technology known as ‘Xbio’, which is the basis for the four FDA-cleared products currently being sold in the US to eliminate biofilm-protected bacteria in surgery and chronic wound care applications.
Biofilm-protected means a bunch of bacteria get together to form a shield that is resistant to treatment by antibiotics.
“It’s a festival of bugs out there, and our technology is able to take down the biofilm and attack the bacteria,” Mitchell said.
The company is due to list on April 18, under the code NXS.
Australian Sports & Nutrition was supposed to list last week but ASIC sent the company an interim stop notice.
Here’s a list of upcoming floats — swipe or scroll for full table: