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Going Public

Billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong is taking his personalized healthcare firm NantHealth public, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Stat News adds that as NantHealth has raised more than $600 million in private equity and as the company has been valued at some $2 billion, its plan to raise $92 million from the IPO suggests that the move is not about raising funds. "Instead, it could signify a renewed sense of faith in the biotech capital markets — coming from a top tier investor," Meghana Keshavan writes at Stat News.

Keshavan notes that Soon-Shiong first floated the idea of taking NantHealth public last year, but backed off later in the fall as the biotech market stumbled. Soon-Shiong told the Los Angeles Times at that time, she adds, that "we don't want to go out in the current market. There is no reason for us to go out there in a bear market."

However, Keshavan writes that the major biotech index funds are down about 25 percent year-to-date, as compared to a 5.4 percent decline in the broader NASDAQ. Still, some CRISPR-based companies have had successful IPOs this year, with Intellia raising $163 million and Editas Medicine $94 million.