MacDougall Musings

Drafting a Strong Form S-1: Crucial for Biotechs Eyeing a 2024 IPO

The MacDougall team brings decades of experience helping leading life sciences companies elevate their communication and connection with key audiences. Your success depends on visibility and credibility with your core audiences, partner with MacDougall to amplify your message and its impact.

Initial public offerings (IPOs) are a critical step in the capital formation path for the biotech industry, providing companies with the ability to access large pools of public capital for the first time. However, demand for biotech IPOs has experienced a dramatic decline in the last 12-18 months, which has created challenges across the capital formation continuum and significantly impacted the ability of many companies to bring on new investors and secure needed funding.

“Fortunately, while IPO market activity remains quiet, we are starting to see indicators that a fall class of potential IPO candidates is forming, and interest in the sector from public investors is warming,” says Sara Michelmore, MacDougall’s Managing Director, Investor Relations. “If a number of IPOs successfully launch and perform well in the after-market over the next few months, consensus expectations are that biotech IPO activity should be on an upswing heading into 2024.”

If your biotech company is considering an IPO path next year, you should focus on preparedness now to ensure you are ready to launch your process when market conditions improve, and the IPO window opens. One of the key elements of IPO preparedness is the drafting of your SEC Form S-1, which requires significant time, thought and coordination to deliver a document that effectively tells your corporate story and supports a successful outcome for your IPO process.

What is the SEC Form S-1?

An S-1 is a required filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) for all companies seeking to become officially registered and listed on a public stock market exchange in the United States. This document provides detailed information on a private company’s science or technology, business model, strategy, executive team, target customer or therapeutic area, competitors, business relationships, financials, risks, and planned use of capital proceeds to the public. Careful review of the S-1 by analysts and portfolio managers is a key part of their IPO due diligence and investment evaluation process, making the S-1 critical to the success of a company’s IPO.

The Bottom Line on S-1s: They Help Your Bottom Line!

The S-1 represents the first time a biotech company discloses details about its business, plans and risks to the public. Collaborating with the right partners to tell your story is key to the success of an IPO. For biotech companies considering a 2024 IPO, now is an ideal time to start the planning process.

Looking to Begin the IPO Planning Process but Don’t Know Where to Start?

The MacDougall team is experienced in leading the message development and writing of S-1s and can also help project manage the entire S-1 development process. If your company is eyeing a potential IPO and you would like to learn more about our capabilities, download our services overview or check out our Tips for Drafting an Effective S-1 Overview.