Bavarian Nordic files for Nasdaq IPO

Bavarian Nordic CEO Paul Chaplin

Looking to raise more than $86 million, Danish vaccinemaker Bavarian Nordic filed for a Nasdaq IPO this week on the heels of a busy 2015.

If the offering is executed, the company expects to use the money to develop its pipeline--including bladder cancer and RSV vaccine candidates--and potentially expand its Kvistgaard, Denmark, manufacturing plant. It filed to trade under the ticker "BAVN."

Each of the previous two years, Bavarian Nordic has pulled in more than $180 million in revenue, primarily from sales of its smallpox vaccines, though it's working to grow that market and expand into others. Its prostate cancer vaccine Prostvac and an Ebola candidate in development with Janssen are both in Phase III.

Led by CEO Paul Chaplin, the company has within the past year signed on with Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) to test Prostvac in combination trials and extended its Janssen partnership to HPV. In July, it received an order for an additional $133 million in smallpox vaccines from the U.S. government.

The company has its critics, however, as was demonstrated by a short-selling campaign aimed at Prostvac this summer. In that episode, Kerrisdale Capital predicted in a report that Prostvac would fail its Phase III trial, citing a "misleading statistical fluke" in previous studies.

The IPO's underwriters are Cowen, Nomura and Piper Jaffray. Other pricing and timing details weren't listed in the company's filing.

Bavarian Nordic also collaborates with the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute and has received approximately $1.2 billion in U.S. government contracts.

- here's the release
- and the filing