House GOP Success: JOBS Act Boosts IPOs in Biotech

According to the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act, or JOBS Act, in 2012, has stimulated at least eighty biotech companies to offer initial public offerings of stock, also known as IPOs, according to the Los Angeles Times. That was a leap from the two years before the JOBS Act was passed, when thirty-two biotech firms went public.

The JOBS Act is one of the few Republican-backed economic bill that passed the House and was not blocked in the Senate. President Barack Obama signed the legislation in a rare bipartisan ceremony, following public concern about delays in Facebook's IPO and worries that other technology startups were holding back for fear of regulatory burdens.

The state that has seen the most new IPOs from biotech firms since the implementation of the JOBS Act was California, which had 23 biotech firms take advantage of the change in federal laws. Some of the state’s firms that offered IPOs create new metabolic and cancer-fighting drugs; others are focused on infectious diseases, hematology and dermatology.

OncoMed’s Chief Executive Paul Hastings, whose company is developing five drugs that target cancer stem cells to keep them from replicating, told the Times that the JOBS Act "makes it easier for emerging companies to go public" because there is less paperwork. He added, "There's less money spent on unnecessary requirements and more focus on running the business."

OncoMed raised $92 million in an IPO last July, the Times notes.

Joel B. Pollak contributed to this report.

Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP


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