ZURICH, Sept 23 (Reuters) - AC Immune, the Swiss biotech company working on treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, boosted the size of its initial public offering by nearly a third as it priced the deal at $11 a share, the bottom end of its indicated range.
AC Immune will now sell 6 million shares and has granted underwriters a greenshoe over-allotment option for up to 900,000 more, it said in a statement on Friday.
It expects net proceeds of the IPO at around $57.8 million. The offering is set to close on Sept. 28. The pricing for its keenly awaited U.S. initial public offering values the firm at about $700 million.
An effective therapy for the memory-robbing disease of Alzheimer’s is seen by the pharmaceuticals industry as a likely multibillion-dollar-a-year seller.
Scientists, however, are still struggling to understand the biology of the condition, even as global cases of dementia are expected to treble by 2050.
AC Immune’s work in the field is more advanced than many, thanks to its tie-up with Roche. The Lausanne-based biotech licensed its experimental drug crenezumab to Roche’s Genentech division in 2006 and the product last year entered pivotal Phase III trials.
Crenezumab works by targeting protein plaques found in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s.
AC Immune, which is backed by German billionaire Dietmar Hopp, plans to use the proceeds from its U.S. share sale to develop separate products targeting Alzheimer’s disease.
The company is the latest among a growing list of European biotech firms, including Britain’s Adaptimmune Therapeutics and French allergy drugmaker DBV Technologies, to opt for a U.S. listing.
AC Immune is led by Andrea Pfeifer, who formerly headed Nestle’s global research.
With money from Roche largely financing crenezumab, AC Immune plans to use proceeds from its U.S. share sale to develop separate products targeting Alzheimer’s disease.
The group also raised $43.5 million in May in a private financing backed by institutional and existing shareholders.
Credit Suisse, Jefferies and Leerink Partners are joint book-running managers for the IPO. AC Immune aims to list its common stock on the Nasdaq under the symbol “ACIU”. (Reporting by Michael Shields, Ankur Banerjee and Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely)