ZURICH, July 21 Auris Medical IPO-EARS.O, a
Swiss company specialising in experimental hearing loss drugs,
is planning a U.S. stock offering to tap into growing investor
appetite for biotechnology.
The Zug-based company is offering 6.9 million new shares, as
well as an overallotment option of 1.035 million shares, at an
estimated price of between $10 to $12 per share, netting it up
to $95 million, it said in a statement on Monday.
The move by Auris reflects the attraction of the U.S. market
for small medical companies, following an exceptionally strong
run in biotech stocks over the past two years.
Other European companies to float on the Nasdaq this year
include Dutch firm uniQure and British medical devices
company Lombard Medical Technologies Plc.
Auris, which was founded in 2003, plans to use the proceeds
to fund late-stage trials for two experimental hearing loss
The expected offer price gives the Swiss company an implied
market capitalisation of between $268 and $322 million,
including the overallotment option.
The company, which is owned by several venture capital
companies and members of management, is currently conducting two
Phase III trials for AM-101, a treatment for acute inner ear
tinnitus, which is injected through the eardrum. It is also
developing AM-111 for acute sensorineural hearing loss, or
There are currently no approved disease-modifying drugs for
hearing loss, which affects nearly a third of people aged 65 to
74 and half of those over 75.
Jefferies and Leerink Partners are acting as joint
book-running managers, while JMP Securities and Needham & Co are
acting as co-managers.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley, editing by Louise Heavens)