The IPO Buzz: French Biotech Abivax Preps for NASDAQ

Abivax S.A., a French biotech whose ulcerative colitis drug candidate is in Phase 3 clinical trials, aims to raise $250 million in its NASDAQ uplisting this week. Abivax (ABVX proposed) launched its U.S. public offering of 18.68 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) on Monday (Oct. 16, 2023) by disclosing terms and starting its roadshow. The deal – and a handful of other SEC filings – gave Wall Street something else to talk about after last week’s Birken shock. (This column, initially published Tuesday afternoon, has been updated with more information on two deals: (1) The Abivax pricing date is this week and (2) Pineapple Financial Inc.’s IPO is an NYSE – American Exchange listing – not a NASDAQ listing. Pineapple Financial’s pricing date was moved early Wednesday morning, Oct. 18, to price next week – “the week of Oct. 23, 2023.”)

Mach Natural Resources L.P. (MNR proposed), an Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas partnership, launched its $200 million unit IPO on Monday (Oct. 16) for pricing next week. Two companies – Waystar Holding Corp. (WAY proposed), a healthcare payments software provider, and Hamilton Insurance Group, Ltd. (HG proposed), a Bermuda-based insurance and reinsurance company – filed to go public on Monday. Waystar and Hamilton Insurance each intend to raise $100 million, according to initial estimates of their IPO proceeds.  

Morgan Stanley and Leerink are the joint book-runners of Abivax S.A.’s U.S. public offering of ADS and its concurrent private placement of ordinary shares in Europe.

The Abivax U.S. public offering is expected to price Thursday night, Oct. 19, to trade Friday, Oct. 20, on the NASDAQ.

Some coverage calls the Abivax deal an IPO – and the words “initial public offering” do appear in the prospectus. However, Abivax S.A.’s ordinary shares trade on the Euronext Paris. For that reason, the Abivax deal is classified as a NASDAQ uplisting in the IPOScoop database. Worth noting: Abivax shares trade on the Euronext Paris under the symbol “ABVX” – and the same symbol has been proposed for the biotech’s ADS to trade on the NASDAQ.

Abivax shares closed at US$13.39 (converted from 12.72 euros) on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023. That was the last closing price before the SEC filing. (F-1/A filing dated Oct. 16, 2023)

Targeting Ulcerative Colitis

Abivax, based in Paris, is focused on developing drugs “that harness the body’s natural regulatory mechanisms to modulate the immune response in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases,” according to the prospectus. Its leading drug candidate, obefazimod, is in Phase 3 clinical trials to treat adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. Abivax says it is also in the planning stages of starting a Phase 2a clinical trial of obefazimod in patients with Crohn’s disease.

The company, founded in 2013, intends to use about $178.9 million – or most of the global offering’s estimated proceeds – to fund the development of obefazimod for ulcerative colitis, according to the prospectus. It aims to use about $15.8 million to fund development of that drug to treat Crohn’s disease. The rest will be used for working capital, including the payment of maturities of existing debt.

Abivax said its cash on hand was about $121.1 million (converted from euros) as of June 30, 2023.

For the 12 months that ended June 30, 2023, Abivax had a net loss of about US$96.31 million on revenue of about $4.58 million.

Small Deals on the Pricing Radar

Three micro-cap IPOs were on the pricing radar this week:

  • Northann Corp. (NCL proposed) – Craft Capitql, R.F. Lafferty & Co. and Prime Number Capital are the joint book-runners of this California vinyl flooring company’s IPO, with estimated proceeds of about $12.0 million. This is an NYSE – American Exchange listing. This IPO is expected to price Wednesday night, Oct. 18, to trade Thursday, Oct.19.
  • WeBuy Global Ltd. (WBUY proposed) – EF Hutton is the sole book-runner of this Singapore-based e-commerce company’s IPO, with estimated proceeds of about $14.9 million. WeBuy provides social media users with community “buying clubs” for groceries and travel. This is a NASDAQ listing. This IPO is on the pricing radar for “the week of Oct. 16, 2023,” and some see this one as likely to be priced later this week.
  • Pineapple Financial (PAPL proposed) – EF Hutton is the sole book-runner of this Canadian mortgage broker’s IPO, with estimated proceeds of about $4.4 million. This is an NYSE – American Exchange listing. Pineapple Financial’s IPO – initially on this week’s pricing radar – was moved to pricing expected next week – “the week of Oct. 23, 2023” – it was learned early Wednesday morning, Oct. 18.

Stay tuned.

For more information about these companies, please check the IPO Calendar and the individual IPO Profiles found on’s website.)

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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.