Infectious disease specialist Poolbeg Pharma is planning to list on New York’s Nasdaq in the coming months, according to its chairman Cathal Friel.
The company was last week spun out by its parent, pharmaceutical services firm Open Orphan, and it announced to the market that it was preparing for a £25m (€29m) initial public offering (IPO) on London’s AIM index.
Friel, who leads life sciences focused corporate finance house Raglan Capital, which successfully brought Open Orphan to the market two years ago, has since told the Sunday Independent that Poolbeg is planning a dual listing in New York and London.
“We are already well down the road with the paperwork on that,” said Friel.
In previous Raglan-backed IPOs of biopharma firms Amryt and Open Orphan they initially opted for dual listings in Dublin and London. But in the case of Poolbeg, Friel said the firm had decided not to take an Irish listing because it would have to drop either it or the London listing when it finalised its place on Nasdaq, he said.
Poolbeg is developing a drug that tackles severe flu, as well as a tool for predicting severe disease and a vaccine discovery platform.
Friel said he was confident that Poolbeg Pharma could reach a market value of between £1bn and £2bn over the next two to three years because of the size of the opportunity in the infectious diseases market.
“I am certain that we can get it to a billion dollars market capitalisation within a year or two and that it can be a very large business,” said Friel. “Going to Nasdaq is a statement of intent. We are going straight to Nasdaq in the summer of next year. Because we are going faster with Poolbeg we deliberately did not seek an Irish listing this time.”
“It is following in the footsteps of Elan, which went to Nasdaq very early,” he said. “Elan had its ups and downs but at the end of the day it still got bought out for $8bn in cash.”
Friel also confirmed that he had invested an additional £500,000 into the Poolbeg IPO via Raglan and that he had also bought £300,000 worth of shares in Open Orpah, bringing his stake to above 7pc.