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Initial public offerings in 2014 had their biggest year since 2000. Health-care companies made up 37 percent of all IPOs in the U.S., nearly double the level in 2013. And the biggest IPO ever, that of China’s e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding, raised $25 billion in September.

Seven Washington companies went public last year, the most since 2006 when five companies IPOed, according to Ernst & Young U.S. venture-capital annual report. The companies crossed many sectors: four are in life science, one provides health insurance for pets, one makes pizza and the other sells beer.

The largest IPO popped at the end of the year.

Seattle cancer-immunotherapy company Juno Therapeutics, which raised hundreds of millions of venture capital during 2014, went public Dec. 19, raising $264.5 million after selling more than 11 million shares at $24 each.

Juno is working on developing curative immunotherapy treatments for a variety of high-risk cancers. The company uses a patient’s own immune system to treat cancer by genetically engineering his or her own white blood cells to recognize and kill cancer cells in the body.

After positive clinical trials showed evidence of tumor shrinkage, Juno plans to use the IPO cash to continue clinical trials and studies.

Juno was formed in partnership with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Arch Venture Partners and an affiliate for the Alaska Permanent Fund are also stakeholders.

The company is not profitable, having incurred losses each quarter since it was formed in August 2013. In the first nine months of 2014, Juno reported a net loss of $51.5 million, according to regulatory filings with the SEC

Shares finished the year at $52.22, more than double its IPO price of $24 per share.

Here is a look at the other local IPOs from this year.


Seattle-based Acucela was founded in 2002 and is developing treatments for eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration.

The company went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Feb. 13, raising $162.3 million — the year’s biggest initial public offering until Juno’s IPO on Dec. 19.

For the first nine months of the year, Acucela reported a net loss of $1.4 million, compared with a profit of $5.1 million for the same period in 2013, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It has traded between 2,460 and 520 yen per share, closing Wednesday at 710 yen.

American Brewing

For the first time since the 1990s, a brewery went public last spring.

Edmonds-based American Brewing put 570,000 shares of the company up for sale for 50 cents a piece in April. As of Sept. 30, 516,866 had been sold, raising approximately $258,000, the company said in documents filed with the SEC.

The 3-year-old company plans to use proceeds to fund expanded brewing and distribution of its four main beers, including Flying Monkey Pale Ale and Caboose Oatmeal Stout.

This is not a typical offering, it is a self-directed offering in which the company and those shareholders market the stock themselves; there are no investment banks doing the underwriting.

In the first nine months of the year, the brewery reported a net loss of $1.12 million, compared with $124,108 for the same period in 2013.

Papa Murphy’s

Papa Murphy’s, the Vancouver-based chain of take-and-bake pizza, went public on May 2, raising $64.2 million.

Founded in 1981, the company has 1,437 franchised and company-owned stores across 38 states, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

With 1,409 of the stores in the U.S., the company claims to be the largest take-and-bake pizza chain in the nation.

At the end of the third quarter the company posted a $1.57 million loss, compared with a profit of $310,000 for the same period in 2013.

Shares closed Wednesday at $11.62, up 5.6 percent from its IPO price of $11 per share.

Alder Biopharmaceuticals

Bothell-based Alder Biopharmaceuticals went public May 8, raising $80 million.

Founded in 2004, Alder is a clinical-stage biotechnology company with two product candidates — one to prevent migraines and one to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

In October, the company announced its results of a Phase 2 trial, saying it was one step closer to commercializing its treatment for migraine prevention.

For the first nine months of the year, Alder posted a $18.9 million profit, compared with a $16.7 million loss for the same period in 2013.

Shares closed Wednesday at $29.09, almost three times its IPO price of $10 per share.


Seattle-based pet-insurance provider Trupanion went public July 18, raising $71.3 million.

Founded in Canada in 1998, Trupanion moved its headquarters to Ballard in 2007.

At the end of September, the company covered 207,843 cats and dogs in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, an increase of 13,226 from June.

The majority of the company’s revenue comes from monthly premiums for the animals. The cost of insuring varies, but the average for a cat is $26, and $40 for a dog; the two represent 85 percent of its policies.

For the first nine months of the year, Trupanion reported a loss of 16.9 million, compared with a loss of almost $5 million for the same period in 2013, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

Shares closed Wednesday at $6.93, down 31 percent from its IPO of $10 per share.

Immune Design

Immune Design, the Seattle-based biotechnology company founded in 2008, went public July 24, raising $60 million.

The company is working on immune-based therapies to fight cancer, focusing on targeting tumors and killing them off through the body’s own immune system.

Two therapies are in Phase 1 clinical trials, and the company hopes to start another in the early part of 2015.

For the first nine months of the year, Immune Design reported a net loss of $21 million, compared with $10.6 million for the same period in 2013.

Shares closed Wednesday at $30.78, more than double its IPO price of $12 per share.

Taggares Agriculture

Kennewick-based Taggares Agriculture intended to go public in the spring, and after first postponing, the company canceled its $48 million initial public offering in July.

The company is owned by members of Eastern Washington’s Taggares family — descendants of the potato king Peter Taggares II. He established himself as the largest farming operation in Washington state before he died in 1999, and was one of the largest producers of French fries in the United States.

Coral Garnick: 206-464-2422 or On Twitter @coralgarnick