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Sigmoid planning $30m Nasdaq float

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Martin Naughton.

Martin Naughton.

Martin Naughton.

The Martin Naughton-backed Sigmoid Pharma, which has a suite of potentially ground-breaking biotech products in development, is considering a $30m Nasdaq float in the next 12 months.

Following a slew of recent pharma and biotech listings, the company has hired a US investment bank and legal counsel to explore the prospect.

Founded by Dr Ivan Coulter and with Irish pharma pioneer Tom Lynch as chairman, Sigmoid has developed technology to deliver drugs more effectively than existing solutions to treat and prevent ulcerative colitis. It expects FDA approval in the US by 2018.

Investors include Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton, Betapond backer Aidan O'Driscoll's Irrus Investments and a number of wealthy backers, according to company filings.

Sigmoid's other major area of focus is treatment graft-versus-host disease, which can occur after procedures like bone marrow transplants, on which it has been working with some of the top clinicians and leading academics in the world. It expects to go to market with products in this area by 2019.

"The IPO market in the US and UK for pharma tech is very, very hot, hotter than it has been in 13 years if not ever," said Coulter.

Not having market-ready products is not a barrier to IPO, Coulter said, as most of the companies that have listed recently are, like Sigmoid, at mid or late stage of product development.

"One of the biggest IPOs ever in the UK was for a company developing a vaccine for people who are allergic to cats, they raised about £300m (€363m)." That company, Circassia, is still in late product development stage.

"It would want to be in the ballpark or north of $30m for it to make sense," said Coulter regarding what Sigmoid would seek to raise at float.

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