The Biotech IPO Market May Be Headed for a Comeback

May 5, 2017, 7:14 PM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images

2014 was a watershed year for biotech companies going public. Just how hot was the market? Consider this: There were 71 biotech IPOs in 2014, making up about one in four of all U.S. IPOs that year.

The flurry calmed down considerably in the ensuing years. In fact, in 2016, there were just 42 IPOs across the entire health care sector. But there have been five biotech IPOs so far in the second quarter of 2017 after a sluggish start in the first quarter, including two on Thursday: Ovid Therapeutics (OVID) and Biohaven Pharmaceuticals (BHVN), which is creating migraine and neurological disorder drugs. In Biohaven’s case, the firm managed to raise a robust $168 million in its public offering.

There’s still a long way to go in 2017, and it’s unclear if the market can heat up enough to get anywhere close to the 2014 numbers. But it appears that biopharma companies are willing to go public again after a big slump amid last year’s drug pricing backlash and the presidential election.

This essay appears in today’s edition of the Fortune Brainstorm Health Daily. Get it delivered straight to your inbox.

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