The IPO Buzz: Biotechs Jump-Start 2022

Biotechs braved the chill winds of January to jump-start the 2022 IPO Calendar. Two of the week’s three biotech IPOs –  Amylyx Pharmaceuticals (AMLX) and CinCor Pharma (CINC) – upsized their IPOs by adding more shares and pricing their deals at the mid-point of their ranges. The third biotech IPO – Vigil Neuroscience, Inc. (VIGL) – priced its IPO at $1 below its range. All three deals, priced Thursday night, started trading on the NASDAQ on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022.

Amylyx Pharmaceuticals’ stock popped 10.5 percent to open at $21, up $2 from its $19 IPO price, and achieved its intraday high at the start.

By the closing bell, this was not a pretty picture. Amylyx Pharmaceuticals ended its first day of trading at $18.07, down 4.89 percent from its $19 IPO price.

Amylyx, which is developing a drug to treat ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, had increased the number of shares at pricing – to 10.0 million, up from 8.75 million in the prospectus. The IPO’s price at $19 was the mid-point of its $18-to-$20 range.

Goldman Sachs, SVB Leerink and Evercore ISI were the joint book-runners for the Amylyx Pharmaceuticals IPO.

CinCor Pharma, Inc. (CINC), a hypertension-focused biotech, jumped 31.3 percent to open at $21, up $5 from its $16 IPO price. CinCor is developing a drug to treat hypertension that does not respond to standard therapies, not even diuretics.

Shares of CinCor closed the first day of trading at $16 – absolutely flat with their IPO price. The company had increased the number of shares at pricing to 12.1 million shares, up from 11 million. The IPO’s price at $16 was the mid-point of its $15-to-$17 range.

Morgan Stanley, Jefferies and Evercore ISI were the joint book-runners for the CinCor Pharma IPO.

Vigil Neuroscience, Inc. (VIGL) sank 14.3 percent to $12 at its opening trade – down $2 from its $14 IPO price, going into the IPO history book as a broken deal. Vigil is developing therapies to treat rare genetic neurodegenerative diseases.

Shares of Vigil never touched their IPO price. Vigil Neuroscience’s stock closed its first day of trading at $12.65 – down 9.64 percent from its $14 IPO price. The company priced 7 million shares, the same number of shares in the prospectus. The IPO’s price at $14 was $1 below the bottom of its $15-to-$17 range.

Morgan Stanley and Jefferies were the joint book-runners for Vigil Neuroscience’s IPO.

The trade date – Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 – marked a fairly early start to the 2022 IPO Calendar. The IPO market typically does not start up again after the holidays until closer to the middle of January.

The mood swung this week with the U.S. stock market’s volatility and the weak performance of a key biotech sector index.

“I’m going to play these very lightly,” a veteran IPO trader said, ahead of Thursday night’s pricings. “I’ve been burned on some biotechs lately.”

A $1.8 Billion Week

All told, bankers priced eight deals – three biotech IPOs, one small-cap IPO and four SPACs – to raise a total of $1.76 billion. Of that amount, the four SPACs alone accounted for $1.275 billion in IPO proceeds: Cartica Acquisition Corp. (CITEU), $200 million; Screaming Eagle Acquisition Corp. (SCRMU), $750 million; C5 Acquisition Corp. (CXAC.U), $250 million, and Viscogliosi Brothers Acquisition Corp. (VBOCU), $75 million.

At Friday’s close, Cartica Acquisition and C5 Acquisition had each gained almost 1 percent from their $10 SPAC (unit) IPO prices, while Screaming Eagle Acquisition had slipped about 1 percent from its $10 benchmark. Viscogliosi Brothers Acquisition finished the week down 1 penny from its $10 IPO price.

To the Moon – Almost 

The week’s stealth success story was the IPO of Amazon wholesaler Hour Loop (HOUR), which came within a hair of scoring a moonshot on its first day of trading.

Hour Loop’s IPO, priced at $4, opened on the NASDAQ at $4.50 – and closed at $7.99, just a penny short of doubling its IPO price. (A moonshot occurs when a stock jumps at least 100 percent, doubling its IPO price, on its first day of trading.)

EF Hutton was the sole book-runner of Hour Loop’s IPO, which was a micro-cap deal of just 1.5 million shares.

Second Week of January 2022

For the week of Jan. 10, 2022, two traditional IPOs are in the spotlight – the highly anticipated IPO of TPG, Inc. (TPG proposed), a major private equity firm, and the IPO of Justworks, Inc. (JW proposed), a cloud-based payroll and benefits software company that caters to small and medium-sized businesses.

The IPO Calendar for the coming week includes a SPAC and two small-cap IPOs. But more names could roll onto next week’s calendar after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing window opens up again for business on Monday morning.

Stay tuned.

(For more information about these companies, please click the hyperlinks, which will take you to the IPO profiles on


(Never trade on proposed symbols. You might wind up owning something on the OTC Bulletin Board.)

Disclosure: Nobody on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned above, nor do they trade or invest in IPOs. The staff does not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.

Disclaimer: A SCOOP Rating (Wall Street Consensus of Opening-day Premiums), is a general consensus taken, at press time, from Wall Street and investment professionals concerning how well an IPO might perform when it starts trading. The SCOOP Rating does not reflect the opinions of anyone associated with The SCOOP ratings should not be taken as investment advice. The rating merely reflects the opinion of the professionals at the time of publication and is subject to last-minute changes due to market conditions, changes in a specific offering and other factors, such as changes in the proposed offering terms and the shifting of investor interest in the IPO. The information offered is taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy.