Biotech Companies have helped lead a recent IPO boom in the state of Washington, accounting for eight of 11 corporations that joined the public markets via a typical IPO over the past year, in a region better renowned for its tech startups and legions of software engineers. For example, Absci, a drug discovery platform, has raised $200 million, Icosavax, a vaccine developer, has raised $180 million, and Eliem Therapeutics, a nervous system therapeutics business, has raised $80 million since early July.
Over the last 12 months, Washington biotech businesses have raised more than $2 billion in public offerings. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Adaptive Biotechnologies was the only Washington state biotech business to go public in the prior four years. The spike in regional biotech IPOs mirrors global trends, with a record number of biotechs predicted to go public in 2020 and new records expected this year.
The trend is fueled by several factors, including low interest rates, making investing in stocks more appealing. It can take many years and hundreds of millions of dollars to get medicine to market. So Biotech Companies are looking for capital for the long haul, according to Oren Lang-Furr, assurance partner and Seattle life sciences leader at Ernst & Young. While software companies typically wait for steady revenues exceeding $100 million before going public, Biotech Companies are looking for capital for the long haul, assurance partner, and Seattle life sciences leader at Ernst & Young.