Sol-Gel Technologies, which develops drugs wrapped in nano-metric particles for dermatological diseases, is considering a Nasdaq IPO. The company, controlled by Mori Arkin's Arkin Holdings, has not yet made a final decision, but if it goes through, the company is apparently planning to raise $40-50 million at a company value of $150 million.
As reported last week in "Globes," Arkin acquired Sol-Gel a year ago for $10 million, plus payments of up to $17 million based on the company's success. Founded in 1997, Sol-Gel was originally financed through venture capital investments, and raised a total of $26 million from investors such as Argonaut, Challenge Fund - Etgar, and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). The company later supported itself through sales of sun protection products, and subsequently from the sale of this entire line of products to Merck for $10 million.
Sol-Gel is still managed by veteran CEO Dr. Alon Seri-Levy. The technological method developed by the company for wrapping drugs in a protective coating enables drugs to more easily penetrate the skin in depth, facilitates the use of smaller dosages and delayed release, and allows various medications to be combined in a single lotion. While the active ingredients in Sol-Gel's products are mostly generic ingredients, its wrapping is a unique technology.
The company's leading products are a treatment for rosacea, a skin disease, and a treatment for acne. The rosacea product finished Phase II clinical trials in 2012, but before Arkin acquired the company, it lacked the financing to go on to Phase III. After the acquisition, it entered Phase III trials, and the acne product entered Phase II trials. The company also has products for the treatment of psoriasis, athlete's foot, and other dermatological conditions.
Following the biomedical industry's success in 2014, the pace of biomedical offerings on Nasdaq has also been impressive in the first half of 2015. Most of the companies making flotations in recent months have posted a positive return on the issue price. The market is still open, mainly to companies developing innovative and breakthrough drugs, but because the most exciting companies have already made offerings, the market has recently also been open to companies in medical equipment, telemedicine, and other medical services. The Israeli participants in this year's festival were Check-Cap (Nasdaq: CHEK) and EndoChoice Holdings Inc.(NYSE:GI), which have already made flotations, and Chiasma, Sol-Gel, and TheraCoat, which are now planning offerings.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 8, 2015
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