Radiopharma firm Telix abandons Nasdaq listing plans

Radiopharma firm Telix abandons Nasdaq listing plans

Just days after Telix priced a $200 million initial public offering (IPO) in the US, the Australian radiopharmaceutical specialist has abandoned the plan.

In a statement, Telix said that “current market conditions” have made it reconsider the move, given the proposed Nasdaq listing “was not predicated on the need to raise capital.”

It added that it faced proposed discounts on the share offering – first announced earlier this year – meaning that it would not be in the interests of existing shareholders to go ahead. The lacklustre reaction to the IPO is particularly surprising given the soaring interest in the radiopharma category at present.

Telix had planned to offer 17 million US shares at $11.87 – which would have matched the value of its Australian shares ahead of the IPO disclosure – and, if completed at that price, would have given it a market cap of around US$4.2 billion.

The decision comes as the pace of new biotech IPOs in the US seems to have stalled after an uptick in the first quarter of this year, which follows a desultory 2023.

After a record high of 89 IPOs in the life sciences sector in 2021, the number plummeted to 19 in 2022 and was just 16 last year. Since the start of 2024, 10 have been completed, nine in the first quarter, with most now trading below their starting prices.

“Since announcing our intention to file […] Telix has achieved a number of commercially significant milestones, including positive therapeutic pipeline data readouts, several successful strategic acquisitions and the completion of two further product approval submissions” to the FDA, said the company.

Fuelled by that news flow, its Australian share price has risen around 60% since the start of the year. Trading in its ordinary shares was halted ahead of the announcement to abandon the IPO in the US, but has now resumed trading on the ASX and the stock is currently valued at AUD$16.61 from just over AUD$10 at the start of 2024.

Telix focuses on the development of diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals and has one commercial product, Illucix (gallium Ga-68 gozetotide), which is a PSMA-targeted product for prostate cancer imaging. It is used to identify patients eligible for PSMA-directed radioligand therapy with drugs, like Novartis’ fast-growing Pluvicto (lutetium [lu177] vipivotide tetraxetan).

The company’s therapeutic pipeline includes potential Pluvicto rival TLX591, currently in phase 2/3 trials for prostate cancer, and TLX250 for advanced kidney cancer in mid-stage clinical testing.

Meanwhile, on the diagnostics side, it recently filed for FDA approval of Zircaix for kidney cancer and brain cancer (glioma) agent Pixclara.