March 13, 2018 / 4:30 PM / 5 days ago

Swiss drugmaker Polyphor plans Q2 listing amid IPO rush -sources

ZURICH/FRANKFURT, March 13 (Reuters) - Swiss speciality pharmaceuticals group Polyphor is aiming for a stock market flotation in the second quarter of 2018, two sources familiar with the transaction said, as Switzerland’s bourse sees a listings surge.

Polyphor does not yet have approved drugs but is working on a novel antibiotic against the bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can be deadly in people with compromised immune systems.

The Allschwil-based company wants to raise more than 100 million Swiss francs ($106 million) from the IPO to support its pipeline and may be valued at roughly 500 million Swiss francs after the transaction, one of the sources said.

UBS and Deutsche Bank are organising the deal, the sources said.

Already, five companies have announced plans to sell or list shares in Switzerland this year, with a pair — medical devices maker Medartis and sensor maker Sensirion — announcing details of their deals on Monday.

Sources have also told Reuters that Ceva Logistics is planning a pre-summer IPO.

A Polyphor spokesman said his company regularly reviews financing alternatives to accelerate development of its experimental drugs.

“This includes access to the capital markets, various kinds of alliances with potential partners or further private financing rounds,” he said.

The banks declined to comment.

Polyphor raised 40 million Swiss francs ($42.3 million) during a 2017 private placement.

Its lead antibiotic, Murepavadin, is in a late-stage Phase III trial, while it said it is advancing efforts with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stage a pivotal trial for its novel immuno-oncology candidate balixafortide for patients with metastatic breast cancer who have received at least two chemotherapeutic regimens.

Polyphor has raised prospects for the molecule to be approved as early as the end of 2020.

The company, founded in 1996, has over 480 shareholders.

Among the larger owners are the longtime Bachem chief Peter Grogg and Swiss investor Rudolf Maag, who had held a significant share of Actelion, also based in Allschwil near Basel, before it was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $30 billion. ($1 = 0.9437 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Oliver Hirt, Arno Schuetze and John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)

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