Palau Pharma mulls IPO

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Palau Pharma, the private Spanish biopharmaceutical company, could float in the next 18 months.

Ignacio Faus, chief executive of the Barcelona-based group, said that the group would be seeking further finance in early 2009, which could include an initial public offering. He added that the group would be looking for acquisitions to strengthen the pipeline: “Hopefully, by the end of the year we will have brought in another product.”

 was spun out of Grupo Uriach in November 2006, raising €40m from institutional investors at the same time. The money is being used to develop and expand ’s pipeline of anti-inflammation and auto-immune diseases treatments.

Milestone payments

The group currently has 10 small molecule products in development, of which five are already partnered with small to medium sized companies. The deals could eventually net €100m in milestone payments.

The remaining five products under company control include: three pre-clinical treatments split between autoimmune and donor organ rejection; a phase I product for inflammatory bowel disease and a phase II psoriasis treatment.

 estimates that its more advanced psoriasis treatment could have peak sales of €540m. However, the potentially most profitable product is Dersalazine, an inflammatory bowel disease treatment, that the company thinks could have potential worldwide peak sales of €1.5bn, if it is also approved in asthma and allergic rhinitis .

Licensing deals

Uriach, which still retains a more than 50% stake in , also retains the commercial rights for all of ’s products in , leaving the fledgling group to find its own deals outside of its homeland, if it does license any of the five.

Mr Faus said the strategy for the other five products would be decided on a case by case basis. “We will have to be realistic and at some point out license some products, but we could hold onto certain products or co-promote,” he said.

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