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Steven R. London Quoted in Investor's Business Daily Article, 'Wall Street Bets on Biotech IPOs Amid 'Science Fiction' Frenzy'

8/16/2018
Steven R. London Quoted in Investor's Business Daily Article, 'Wall Street Bets on Biotech IPOs Amid 'Science Fiction' Frenzy'

Steven R. London, a partner in the Health Sciences Department of Pepper Hamilton and a member of the Corporate and Securities Practice Group, was quoted in the August 16, 2018 Investor's Business Daily article, "Wall Street Bets on Biotech IPOs Amid 'Science Fiction' Frenzy."

And Wall Street brokers are lining up to open their coffers, said Steve London, a partner in the health sciences department at law firm Pepper Hamilton. London helps life-science companies navigate various phases including startup through IPO and beyond.

"It's so exciting to see this," London told Investor's Business Daily. "It does sound like science fiction, but I am absolutely certain (the advancements) will happen. The only question is how long will it take? And that's where Wall Street starts making its bets."

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And now the midterm elections are looming. Further, President Donald Trump has reiterated his goal to bring down drug prices. Uncertainty about government policy can be "very damaging" to life-science companies' stocks, Pepper Hamilton's London said.

"Now we're looking out toward the midterm elections and what might happen," he said. "Will health care policy be revisited? Will there be some sort of push to address drug prices? Will there be a faster FDA review period or slower as a result of the elections?"

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Sometimes the products are so interesting they've prompted "crossover investors," said Pepper Hamilton's London. So-called crossover investors take a position in the last private round before also jumping in during the IPO.

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Investors definitely want a piece of the action, London said. The riskiest part is deciding which biotech companies deserve the attention. He suggested weeding out potential duds by focusing on those that have clinical study results. In biotechnology, not all companies do.

"If it's a drug, you have to look at where it is in the clinical trial process," he said. "What are the results of those trials? How close are they to getting their (investigational new drug application) approved?"

And, of course: Is this a takeover candidate?

"Investors in these kinds of biotech companies that have no drug or product on the market are betting one of the big players will come in and buy the company out before commercialization," he said. "That's the near-term horizon of what investors should be looking for."

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