Circassia begins trading in London following successful IPO

Having priced its IPO at the top of its range late last week, British allergy vaccine developer Circassia (LSE:CIR) has begun trading on the London Stock Exchange. Now work begins to justify the $965 million valuation the IPO placed on the company.

The first two days of trading passed uneventfully, with Circassia's stock fluctuating around the 310 pence ($5.20) per share price it commanded in the IPO to close on Wednesday at 309 pence. Potential big inflection points for the stock are still years away, with Phase III data from Circassia's lead candidate--a cat allergy vaccine--not expected until the first half of 2016. If the results look strong enough, Circassia will file for approval in Europe and North America in the second half of the year.

In the years following the end of the cat allergy vaccine trial Circassia expects to publish data from a series of pivotal studies that could decide whether its technology platform is viewed as a success. Phase III data for vaccines to protect against ragweed and grass allergies is expected in 2017, with late-phase results from a house mite candidate due to arrive in 2019. All three vaccines are currently in Phase IIb.

Circassia predicts it will have Phase III data for three more vaccines--for the treatment of allergies to birch, alternaria and Japanese cedar--by 2021, but none of these candidates has even reached the clinic yet. In some areas Circassia may face competition from Merck ($MRK), which is collaborating with Denmark-based ALK-Abello on the development of tablet-based vaccines against grass pollen, house dust mites and ragweed allergies. The grass pollen and ragweed tablets are nearing approval.

- here's the stock details