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Cancer drug developer Endocyte files for IPO

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Biopharmaceutical company Endocyte Inc., encouraged by the development of its cancer-fighting drugs, said Tuesday it has filed for an initial public offering.

The company, headquartered at Purdue University Park in West Lafayette, said the number of shares to be offered and their price range have yet to be determined.

Los Angeles-based Wedbush PacGrow Life Sciences and Milwaukee-based Baird will co-manage the offering.

Endocyte has a pipeline of drugs in development for the treatment of various cancers and inflammatory diseases, including six drugs in clinical trials.

At the World Conference on Lung Cancer in San Francisco last August, Endocyte announced positive results for its lead drug, EC145, in a Phase II non-small-cell lung cancer study.

And, in October, the company closed on $26 million in equity financing to help it continue developing the drugs.

Marcus Chandler, chairman of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s entrepreneurial services practice group, said the IPO helps validate the state’s efforts to become a life sciences hub.

“Those [companies] that have been successful have merged into public companies,” he said, “so the Endocyte IPO is huge news and a huge step forward in creating credibility for our claim in Indiana to be a life sciences center.”

In any industry, IPOs always have been scarce in Indiana. Last year, there were just two. Evansville-based infant-formula-maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. staged a $782 million IPO in February, then promptly moved its headquarters to the Chicago area. In its December IPO, Carmel-based used-vehicle auctioneer KAR Auction Services Inc. raised $300 million.

Endocyte’s IPO is the third announced so far this year in Indiana. Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc., a handbag maker, filed plans last month to raise $175 million. Evansville-based UCI International, a supplier of replacement parts for the light- and heavy-duty vehicle aftermarket, said in July it plans to raise $200 million.

Nationally, the IPO market looks to be improving. So far this year 170 have been filed, topping the 119 filed in 2009 and the 153 in 2008.
 

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