(Adds CEO comments)
BRUSSELS, June 10 Biotech group arGEN-X, which
develops new drugs to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, said
on Tuesday it was planning an initial public offering (IPO) on
the Brussels stock exchange.
The group did not disclose how much it intended to raise
from the share sale, but Chief Executive Tim Van Hauwermeiren
told Reuters he hoped the IPO would take place in the next month
"Europe leaves on holidays at a certain point in July, we
want to be listed before that," Van Hauwermeiren said.
For the planned transaction, the company has hired KBC
Securities and Kempen & Co as joint global coordinators and
joint bookrunners, Petercam as co-lead manager, and Wedbush
PacGrow Life Sciences as selling agent.
Like peer Ablynx, which also has a research
facility in Ghent, Belgium, arGEN-X bases its technology on the
immune system of llamas, but unlike Ablynx it does not use tiny
"We build our drugs based on conventional antibodies. Those
animals can form a very powerful immune response to a cancer
cell or another human disease," Van Hauwermeiren said.
ArGEN-X has two candidate drugs in clinical trials and
others in pre-clinical development and has signed partnerships
with major pharmaceutical groups such as Shire, Bayer
and Boehringer Ingelheim.
The group said that if successful, these partnerships could
trigger milestone payments of 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion).
($1 = 0.7345 Euros)
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Miral Fahmy and