* Aims to raise up to 90 mln euros
* IPO would value Agendia at 225-250 mln euro
* Plans to issue 4.69 mln shares
* Sets initial price range of 16.35-19.15 euros
* Listing planned for June 21
(Adds CEO’s comments, details, background)
By Aaron Gray-Block
AMSTERDAM, June 6 (Reuters) - Dutch cancer test firm Agendia aims to raise up to 90 million euros ($132 million) in an initial public offering, testing the market with the first IPO in Amsterdam of a healthcare firm since the 2008 financial crisis.
Prospects for the healthcare and biotech sector have improved, especially in the United States, after a fallow period when several firms ran into trouble with clinical trials and failed to get funding.
Agendia, a molecular diagnostics firm, has a set of four breast cancer tests which are used to assess whether a patient will need hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and other targeted therapies.
It made a 16.1 million euro loss in 2010, and after a first-quarter loss of 5.26 million euro, it had about 11 million euros in cash on March 31. At its current cash burn rate it would need new funding by the year end.
“The (molecular diagnostics) market is extremely hot,” Agendia Chief Executive Bernhard Sixt told reporters.
“Our tests provide important benefits for patients, physicians and payers. They are not only clinically helpful, they also reduce healthcare costs.”
The company, with operations in the Netherlands and the United States, said it plans to issue 4.69 million shares, with an initial price range of 16.35 euros to 19.15 euros per share.
Agendia will have about 13 million shares outstanding after the issue and its market capitalisation will amount to 225 million to 250 million euros, excluding any over-allotment.
Although there had been renewed talk of listings and trade sales in the European biotech sector, Agendia’s planned IPO would be the first healthcare-related listing in Amsterdam since AMT AMTH.AS raised 5.67 million euros in 2007. [ID:nLDE71K1L0]
At the end of 2010, Danish biotech Zealand Pharma (ZELA.CO) listed in Copenhagen. However, Swiss-Italian biotech Philogen pulled its IPO in February. [ID:nLDE6AM0NP] [ID:nLDE71E295]
Agendia said the proceeds of the listing, planned for June 21, will mainly be used for sales and marketing in the U.S., such as building up a sales team and staging seminars for oncologists. In Europe, the company is lining up distributors.
CEO Sixt said assessment of recurrence risk is poor, leading to the overuse of chemotherapy for breast cancer patients, but that Agendia’s lead product MammaPrint can separate early-stage patients into high and low-risk groups.
Agendia said it has collaborated with Roche ROG.VX, Novartis NOVN.VX, Sanofi (SASY.PA) and Pfizer (PFE.N) in clinical trials, one of which will close later this year, and is looking to add colon and lung cancer tests to its products.
Its major shareholders include Van Herk (29 percent), ING Corporate Investments (16 percent), Gilde Healthcare (14 percent), Breedinvest (9 percent) and Stichting Fondsen NKI and founding management team members. None of the investors is selling shares.
Gertjan van der Baan, a director of Van Herk who is on Agendia’s supervisory board, said the valuation of peers such as Genomic Health Inc (GHDX.O) and former rounds of funding were considered when setting the pricing.
ABN AMRO [ABNNV.UL], which has agreed to buy shares worth 5 million euros at the offer price, and ING ING.AS are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners. (Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by Sara Webb and Erica Billingham)