The Belgian biopharmaceutical sector, already regarded as one of the areas of activity least affected by the coronavirus crisis, is regaining all its dynamism. The Liège-based company Hyloris Pharmaceuticals has just unveiled its intention to be listed on Euronext Brussels, the first announcement of this type since the start of the deconfinement.
Founded and managed by Flemish entrepreneur Stijn Van Rompay, Hyloris develops pharmaceutical products with the aim of bringing high value-added reformulated medicines to the market as quickly as possible.
At the end of April, the Liège-based biotech company closed a private fund-raising round of $16.8 million (€15 million) with a mix of new and existing investors, including Scorpiaux (the financial holding company of real estate entrepreneur Bart Versluys), the Liège-based investor Noshaq, Saffelberg Investments and Nomainvest (the holding company of the Noël family).
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The company’s management team is already looking for the final phase
However, its leaders are already looking further ahead. “We realized that there was a demand from a number of investors to get into the company’s capital and we reserved the possibility of extending the raising of financing,” said Patrick Jeanmart, who has just joined the company as chief financial officer (CFO). “We have launched a process with a banking syndicate and we have reached the final phase since we have had confirmation of the interest of these investors. So we decided, in consultation with the banks, to go ahead with the IPO,” he added.
The company is currently engaged in the drafting of the prospectus with the French Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA). In concrete terms, a period of four to five weeks should intervene between the company’s announcement and the listing of the first shares. The estimated objective of raising via the IPO is around $56 million (€50 million).
The funds will be used to continue the development of the company’s product candidates
“The IPO should provide us with the resources to fund the development of our current portfolio of product candidates, as well as to establish a commercial infrastructure in the US for our cardiovascular portfolio, where we will focus on specialty care facilities such as hospitals,” said CEO Stijn Van Rompay. “The IPO is also expected to help us expand our portfolio in the coming years.”
Hyloris already has twelve product candidates at different stages of development in its portfolio, which should be marketed in the next four to five years, primarily in the USA. It also has two products in the US: one for the treatment of atrial fibrillation, developed in partnership with AltaThera, and the other is a non-opioid analgesic for the treatment of pain, co-owned with AFT Pharmaceuticals.
The strategy of the Liège biotech company is based on US regulations (and its European counterpart) applying to drugs for which the safety and efficacy of specific molecules have already been demonstrated. This procedure concerns, for example, medicines with new dosages or administered differently. It may also concern an extension of the indication.
The company employs a dozen people and the team might double
“With fifty million, as long as we get to that level, it offers a lot of opportunities. This is all the more true since the company could bring products to market fairly quickly and its financial situation should improve fairly quickly because it is likely to generate profit.”
The Liège-based company currently employs a dozen people, a figure that should double by the end of the year. “Production will be outsourced because our products cannot be described as niche products for millions and millions of people. On the other hand, we intend to use manufacturing units here in Belgium and Wallonia, or elsewhere. But it is premature to talk about this because we do not yet have agreements with subcontractors. We also outsource research and development as well as clinical studies, which are bioequivalence studies, to Belgian or foreign partners and subcontractors,” concluded Patrick Jeanmart.
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First published in L’Echo, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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