(Adds share rise, quote from CEO)
ZURICH, June 16 (Reuters) - Shares in Idorsia, the drug pipeline firm spun off from biotech group Actelion after Johnson & Johnson’s $30 billion takeover, rose nearly 30 percent after making their market debut at 10 Swiss francs each on Friday.
They advanced to nearly 13 francs in early afternoon business in Zurich, valuing the company at above 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.54 billion).
One trader said Idorsia’s stock had been trading over the counter this week at around 8 francs, the theoretical price given the difference between Actelion’s share price in Swiss francs and the $280 cash per share price J&J is paying for Actelion.
Allschwil-based Idorsia is starting out with around $1 billion in cash and nine investigational drugs in early or mid-phase trials against diseases including hypertension, insomnia and acute coronary syndrome.
Chief Executive Jean-Paul Clozel said he hoped to rapidly move Idorsia’s molecules closer to regulatory approval, although that is still likely to be years away.
“We’re going to develop a commercial structure as quickly as possible,” Clozel told Swiss state television in an interview.
Actelion shareholders got one Idorsia share for each Actelion share they held on June 13.
J&J, which will control up to 32 percent of Idorsia, intends to delist Actelion after buying it to gain access to its portfolio of drugs including Tracleer and Uptravi against pulmonary arterial hypertension, a deadly lung disease.
$1 = 0.9743 Swiss francs Reporting by Michael Shields, Rupert Pretterklieber and John Miller; Editing by Joshua Franklin and Adrian Croft