Media Release

Source: Bioshares

25 Biotech IPOs in Australia in the Last 12 Months as the IPO Window Closes Fast
Melbourne, Australia
Monday July 19, 6.00PM AET

The Australian listed healthcare and biotech sector has expanded to 134 companies in the second quarter of 2004 with a cumulative market value of $25.5 billion. There were six new biotech listings in this quarter although the biotech window looks to be closing fast.

The last quarter was a healthy period for raising cash for Australian biotechs, with $84 million raised in total although 40% of this money was raised from overseas investors. The total funds raised for the first six months of this year was $198 million.

There were six biotech listings in the last quarter bringing the total to 25 listings for the last 12 months. Of these, 17 were new IPOs and eight were backdoor listings. $211 was raised in IPOs over the 12 months with an average $8.4 million raised. Of the 25 companies that listed, 12 produced positive returns for shareholders and 13 stocks finished below their issue price. Overall, the stocks generated an average 2% gain from their issue price. In comparison, 27 stocks listed in the US over the last 12 months raising an average US$61 million.

Drug discovery stocks in Australia have generated a flat performance over the last six months, which is largely in line with the Nasdaq Biotech Index which has increased by only 5% over the same period. The ASX Healthcare Index has increased by 14% this calendar year largely due to gains in some of the larger stocks in the sector, CSL and Resmed. The ASX All Ordinaries Index increased by 6.6% for the first six months of this year. It has been a difficult three months for the sector, with two thirds of the companies recording negative net share price movements over the period.

2004 has finally seen the start of the much expected consolidation phase in the Australian biotech sector, although this activity has been more with US biotechs. Three Australian biotechs – AGT Biosciences, Australian Cancer Technology and Benitec – made acquisitions in the US, and Axon Instruments was acquired by its US competitor. However the attempted merger between Peptech and Agenix failed for the second time.

A full report on the performance of the Australian biotech sector can be found at: www.bioshares77.pdf

About Bioshares
Bioshares is weekly biotech stock report and is published by Blake Industry and Market Analysis Pty Ltd, a Melbourne-based research company that specialises in analysing companies in the healthcare and biotechnology sector.

For enquiries: David Blake, Bioshares Media Contact, +61 3 9326 5382

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