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Circassia Raises $333.5 Million in IPO for Allergy Shot

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Circassia Pharmaceuticals Plc raised about 200 million pounds ($333.5 million) in an initial public offering to help fund development of allergy vaccines.

Circassia sold 64.5 million shares at 310 pence each, and existing stockholders sold another 2.9 million, the Oxford, England-based company said in a statement today. The price was at the top of the range of 250 pence to 310 pence indicated last month by the banks arranging the sale.

The shares were unchanged in conditional trading on the London Stock Exchange. The offering is believed to be the biggest ever biotechnology fundraising in the U.K., according to Circassia. The previous largest U.K. biotech IPO in London in the past 25 years was that of Oxford Glycosciences Plc, which went public in 2000 in a 115 million-pound share offering, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“We got tremendous support, which is fantastic,” Chief Executive Officer Steven Harris said in a telephone interview. “It’s really allowing us to move the platform and launch further forward.”

The money will help Circassia market its cat-allergy vaccine, Cat-SPIRE, and will pay for late-stage tests on vaccines for ragweed, grass and house dust-mite allergies, the company said. Cat-SPIRE is undergoing final-stage tests in people and the company expects results in 2016, the company said last month.

Imperial Gains

The sale equals more than a third of Circassia’s 187.4 million shares outstanding, and it values all of Circassia at about 581 million pounds. Regular trading begins March 18 on the London exchange.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the global coordinator and joint bookrunner with Peel Hunt LLP, while Canaccord Genuity Ltd. and Shore Capital Stockbrokers Ltd. co-managed the offering, according to the statement.

Circassia had raised 105 million pounds in venture funding since 2006 from investors including Invesco Perpetual, Imperial Innovations Group Plc and Lansdowne Partners.

Imperial Innovations, which invests in startups spawned by U.K. universities, owns 26.5 million Circassia shares, valued at 82.1 million pounds, the company said in a separate statement. It was carrying the investment at a value of 45.1 million pounds in its most recent financial report. Imperial rose 4.5 percent to close at 407.50 pence in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Serafino in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at Kristen Hallam

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