Home Health Care Genfit makes $135M debut on Nasdaq

Genfit makes $135M debut on Nasdaq


French drugmaker Genfit suspended trading of its shares on European markets Wednesday as it began selling its shares on the US market.

The company said Wednesday that it would offer 6.65 million shares on the Nasdaq at $20.32 apiece, for a total offering price of $135.1 million, under the ticker symbol GNFT. The company was already trading on the Euronext Paris exchange, where its shares closed Tuesday at 21.92 euros ($24.68). Genfit, based near Lille, France, had announced the launch of the global offering on March 14, with the intention of selling 5 million ordinary shares, along with a private placement of ordinary shares outside the US. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, it had anticipated raising $119.2 million.

The company’s therapeutic focus is on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, and its lead product candidate is the drug elafibranor, currently in a pivotal Phase III clinical trial.

NASH is a form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease associated with diabetes and obesity. It affects more than 10 percent of adults and 3 percent of children and adolescents and, with no approved drug therapies, is expected to become the leading cause of liver transplants in a few years. The global market size for the disease is expected to go from $138.4 million in 2016 o $18.3 billion in 2026, assuming an annual growth rate of 63 percent, according to a report in November by GlobalData.

The first company to win an approval for a NASH drug may be Intercept Pharmaceuticals, which in February announced positive data from its Phase III study of Ocaliva (obeticholic acid). The drug is already approved for primary biliary cholangitis. In a note to investors, Cowen analyst Ritu Baral wrote on March 13 that with its Phase III data in hand, Intercept plans to disclose its preliminary view of the NASH market and potential commercial strategy later in the year. According to the note, the company’s management also said the label the drug gets from the Food and Drug Administration may not require a biopsy, given the agency’s desire to move away from that requirement.

Photo: jxfzsy, Getty Images

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