Israeli dermatology co Sol-Gel raises $75m in Nasdaq IPO

Mori Arkin

The company makes a non-antibiotic product for treating acne.

Ness Ziona-based dermatology company Sol-Gel Technologies has raised $75 million at $12 per share, reflecting a $225 million company value, after money. The offering raised $15 million more than planned at that price.

Book-running managers for the offering were Jefferies LLC and BMO Capital Markets Corp., with JMP Securities LLC and Raymond James & Associates, Inc. as co-managers.  Sol-Gel has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 937,500 ordinary shares at the public offering price less underwriting discounts and commissions. The company starts to be traded on Nasdaq from today, under the ticker symbol SLGL.

Only one month into 2018, Israeli medical companies have already scored two successes on Nasdaq (Motus GI and Sol-Gel) and one failure (Entera Bio).

Sol-Gel's leading product is a non-antibiotic preparation for the treatment of acne that has already passed a Phase II trial on 726 patients, and achieved better results than a placebo. Phase III trials of Sol-Gel's product are scheduled to begin in 2018 and be completed in 2019. If it reaches the market, this product is likely to compete with an antibiotic produced by Israeli company Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.(Nasdaq:FOMX), whose market cap is $249 million.

Sol-Gel has two other independent products in development: another product for treatment of acne and a product for treatment of rosacea, a skin disease (this product is also likely to complete with one of Foamix's products). Results from a Phase III trial of the rosacea product are due to arrive in 2019. Sol-Gel is also developing generic products in cooperation with other drug companies. Its leading such generic product, which is designed for treatment of inflammations caused by rosacea, is being developed in cooperation with Perrigo Company (NYSE:PRGO; TASE:PRGO). The connection between the two companies passes through Sol-Gel controlling shareholder Mori Arkin, who sold control of Agis Industries to Perrigo. Perrigo's dermatological activity is based on Agis.

Sol-Gel tried to hold an IPO in 2015, but missed the window of opportunity. Its current try began in August, and it now appears that the market is open.

Arkin is also a shareholder in UroGen Pharma (Nasdaq: URGN), which held a successful offering last year and raised $60 million more this week. He plans to bring another of the companies he controls, Exalenz Bioscience Ltd. (TASE:EXEN), which performs breath testing for the digestive system, to Nasdaq this year.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on February 1, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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