B.C. Industry News

Business in Vancouver – Vancouver biotech to go public on Nasdaq

January 30, 2014

By Nelson Bennett

Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, has filed an initial public offering on the Nasdaq – more signs that the battered biotech sector is in recovery.

The Vancouver company filed Tuesday with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $58 million through an initial public offering of common stock under the symbol AQXP.

The company is in a quiet period and is not commenting on the IPO.

Aquinox raised $25 million in series B financing in 2010 and another $18 million in April 2013.

Aquinox’s lead drug candidate – AQX-1125 – has several potential applications. The drug is currently in stage two clinical trials for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic bladder disease.

There have been a number of IPOs by biotechs in the U.S. recently, a sign of recovery in a sector that has been in a trough in recent years. It’s part of a broader trend, with money moving away from sectors like mining and into knowledge-based industries, said Graeme Falkowsky, managing director of corporate finance for Deloitte.

“In 2013, we’ve had the largest amount of capital raised in IPOs since the year 2000, and knowledge-based industries were about 40% of the IPOs that were done,” Falkowsky said. “It gives you a sense of how important the knowledge-based industries are now becoming again.”

Aquinox was spun out of research at the University of British Columbia and BC Cancer Agency in 2004.