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Nasdaq sees Israeli biotech IPOs tapping the market this year

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[NEW YORK] More Israeli biotech and technology companies plan to list shares on Nasdaq Inc's New York market this year, according to executive vice president of listings services Nelson Griggs.

Three biotech and one tech company "have done their initial filings" and will be "looking to list sometime this year if the market and investor side cooperates," Mr Griggs said in an interview from Tel Aviv. "The potential here is enormous but we are not seeing any of the real large ones looking at our market yet," he said.

The four companies, whose market values range from US$500 million to US$750 million, are expected to raise between US$75 million to US$130 million each, Mr Griggs said. Israel has the most non-US companies listed on Nasdaq after Canada and China.

Kitov Pharmaceuticals Holdings Ltd, the Tel Aviv-based developer of drugs to treat hypertension, was the last Israeli stock to list on Nasdaq in September, bringing the total of Israeli IPOs in the US in 2015 to seven compared with 12 the previous year.

"This was our worst start of the year since the crisis in 2009. It's not just tech or biotech that has been slow, it's the whole market," Mr Griggs said, pointing to a global downturn in appetite for IPOs.

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"We are preparing for what could be a slow 2016 but there are tons of companies wanting to go. It's not the companies side, it's the demand side."

PolyPid Ltd, an Israeli developer of drug-delivery technology, is seeking to raise US$60 million to US$70 million in a US IPO, a person familiar with the matter said in March.

UroGen Pharma, an Israeli healthcare company, is seeking to raise about US$70 million in a New York IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said in February.


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