Waksal’s Kadmon said to plan IPO, without Waksal

Kadmon, the biotechnology company founded by ImClone's Sam Waksal, is preparing to file confidentially for an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter. The S-1 document is expected to be filed this week or next, according to the people, who declined to be named because the matter isn't public.

Waksal, who transitioned from CEO to a role as chief of innovation, science and strategy at the end of 2014, will no longer be an officer of Kadmon, the people said. That was a condition Nasdaq set for the company to list.

Samuel Waksal
Douglas Graham | Roll Call | Getty Images
Samuel Waksal

Waksal's history is well-known; he founded ImClone, maker of the cancer drug Erbitux, and later was embroiled in an insider trading scandal and served five years in prison. As part of his sentence, Waksal was barred permanently by the Securities and Exchange Commission from serving as an officer or director of any public company.

In late 2014, with eyes toward taking Kadmon public, Waksal installed his brother, Harlan, as CEO.

Both Sam and Harlan Waksal declined to comment.

Kadmon, which is developing drugs for cancer, autoimmune diseases and other maladies, is pursuing an IPO at a tough time in the market. The Nasdaq biotechnology index has lost 23 percent of its value in 2016, and no companies have yet tested the appetite for IPOs this year. Gene editing start-up Editas Medicine is expected to price this week, a closely watched event for biotech investors.

Kadmon is filing confidentially to gauge market interest, according to people familiar with its plans. A public filing may come about a month afterward, with the company going to market in late March or early April.

The company had raised $500 million in debt and equity as of the end of 2014, likely on the success of ImClone: Waksal's last company was sold to Eli Lilly in 2008 for $6.5 billion.