The IPO market has come storming back. Nasdaq's head of healthcare listings gave us the lay of the land. (IBB)

Published 3:02 am PDT, Monday, April 15, 2019

Skye Gould/Business Insider

The initial-public-offering market is ramping back up after seeing its quietest quarter in three years. Healthcare listings are dominating the slate of new companies coming to market this year. Jordan Saxe, the Nasdaq’s head of healthcare listings, gave Markets Insider an inside look at what investors should know about the active healthcare IPO market. Visit MarketsInsider.com for more stories.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: investors are expecting a red-hot initial-public-offering market this year.

They’re now trading, or awaiting, a pair of rival ride-sharing companies, a 21-year-old online-trading platform, and a century-and-a-half-old denim-maker.

And lots of healthcare companies.

With 60% of all IPOs priced so far this year coming from the healthcare sector, it’s the most active corner of the IPO market — ahead of technology — according to Renaissance Capital.

Of the 21 names that have debuted since February, 12 of them are in the healthcare space. Among them are relatively tiny, sub-$100 million deals like Anchiano Therapeutics, ShockWave Medical, and Kaleido Biosciences.

Read more: Lyft, Uber, and Slack are the IPOs getting all the attention — but a different corner of the market is heating up

And it’s a unique time for new issues. The first-quarter was the slowest quarter in three years by deal count, according to Renaissance data, amid the partial federal government shutdown and the severe market sell-off in late 2018.

But activity is picking back up again, as was expected after a sluggish first few months of the year, and investors are chomping at the bit for newly public names.

Of course, it’s a hectic time for the public exchanges themselves as they compete to list high-profile IPOs. The New York Stock Exchange has historically won larger public offerings,

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