In all my 26 years at MondayMorning, never have I witnessed such a massive, mad dash for the IPO filing window, and the SEC must be wondering if and when this unprecedented flock of registrations will subside. My guess is…not until there’s a major correction in the broader market, and we all know that’s looming. But who knows exactly when? That’s the perennial quandary.
Still, there already have been 25 offerings priced since the beginning of the year, versus 41 for all of 2017. And there’s no sign of a let up in startups more than happy to appease the hunger among investors for riches, even among the pre-clinical candidates–that’s how strong the appetite is potential blockbusters like Merck’s checkpoint inhibitor, Keytruda, or Novartis’s CAR T-cell treatment, Kymriah.
Here are last week’s latest entrants into the IPO “rain-dance,” followed by 3 new pricings and a chart of the 25 total pricings so far this year. Presently, winners (i.e., returns higher than IPO price) are outpacing losers 14 to 11.
New SEC IPO Filings
1) Included among recent SEC filings for initial public offerings, Eidos Therapeutics Inc., which is developing a novel oral therapy for rare neurodegenerative diseases, registered up to $115 million worth of common stock. The San Francisco, CA-based company was founded in 2013 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “EIDX.” J.P. Morgan and BofA Merrill Lynch are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. Eidos bills itself as a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on addressing the large and growing unmet need in diseases caused by transthyretin, or TTR, amyloidosis, or ATTR.
2) Elsewhere, AVROBIO Inc., which is developing gene therapies to treat cancer and rare diseases, registered up to $86 million worth of common in an IPO. The Cambridge, MA-based company was founded in 2015 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “AVRO.” Morgan Stanley, Cowen & Co. and Wells Fargo Securities are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. The clinical-stage biotech develops potentially curative ex vivo lentiviral-based gene therapies for rare diseases based on a single dose. Its approach uses hematopoietic stem cells from the patient that are modified outside of the body to include a functional gene to replace the disease-causing mutated version. The modified cells are then reinfused back into the patient. Lead candidate is AVR-RD-01 for Fabry disease. A Phase 2 study should launch mid-year.
3) Kezar Life Sciences Inc., which is developing small molecule therapeutics to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer, registered up to $81 million in an initial public offering. The San Francisco, CA-based company was founded in 2015 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “KZR.” Jefferies, Cowen & Co., Wells Fargo Securities and William Blair are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. Kezar plans to use the IPO money to push forward its pipeline of autoimmune drugs. Spun out of Amgen Inc. with small molecules from the stockpile of the former Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Kezar’s lead product is KZR-616. The drug is a selective immunoproteasome inhibitor that’s about to be tested in a Phase 1b/2 trial in lupus and lupus nephritis.
4) Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc., a late-stage pharma commercializing an injectable hypoglycemia treatment, registered up to $75 million worth of common. The Chicago, IL-based company was founded in 2005 and booked $1 million in revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, 2018. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “XERS.” Jefferies, Leerink Partners and RBC Capital Markets are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. The company plans to use the money for the commercial roll out of its lead product, a glucagon pen for diabetics. Proceeds will also go toward Xeris’s pipeline, which uses the company’s glucagon for conditions that require administration over a longer period of time, including post-bariatric hypoglycemia and congenital hyperinsulinism.
5) Magenta Therapeutics Inc., which is developing novel therapies to make stem-cell transplants more effective, registered up to $100 million worth of common in an IPO. The Cambridge, MA-based company was founded in 2015 by Third Rock Ventures and Atlas Venture and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “MGTA.” J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Cowen & Company are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. According to the registration statement, the cash will be used to accelerate Magenta’s most advanced clinical program: a cell therapy called MGTA-456. The drug, currently in Phase 2 trials, is being tested in patients with inherited metabolic disorders. Magenta says the IPO would also fund research into additional indications for the therapy, such as sickle cell disease and blood cancers.
6) Aptinyx Inc., which is developing therapeutics for neurological disorders, filed to raise up to $80 million in an IPO. The Evanston, IL-based company was founded in 2015 and booked $6 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31, 2018. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “APTX.” J.P. Morgan, Cowen & Co., Leerink Partners and BMO Capital Markets are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. Aptinyx was spun out of the $1.7 billion buyout of Naurex Inc. with $560 million in cash. The lead candidate is now named rapastinel, which won a breakthrough drug designation at the FDA. Still focused on NMDA, Aptinyx’s most advanced drug now is in Phase 2 studies for chronic pain.
7) Verrica Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is developing a drug-device that administers cantharidin for warts and skin diseases, registered up to $86 million in an IPO. The West Chester, PA-based company was founded in 2013 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “VRCA.” BofA Merrill Lynch, Jefferies and Cowen & Co. are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. The clinical-stage firm’s lead candidate is VP-102, a drug-device combo consisting of a topical formulation of cantharidin and a single-use applicator, for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum (MC) (highly contagious pediatric viral skin disease) and common warts. Topline data from two Phase 3 studies in MC should be available in the first half of 2019.
8) Entera Bio Ltd., which is developing oral formulations of treatments for a thyroid condition and osteoporosis, reported financial results for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017, in an amendment filed with the SEC on Thursday. It originally set terms for a $55 million IPO in January but postponed the deal a few weeks later. In the updated filing, Maxim Group LLC will now serve as sole bookrunner on the deal. Jerusalem, Israel-based Entera Bio was founded in 2009 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “ENTX.” Lead candidate is EB612, an oral formulation of parathyroid hormone (PTH) for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, an Orphan Drug indication in the US. At present, commercially available PTH is administered via injection. A confirmatory Phase 2b/3 study is up next.
1) Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is developing therapies for inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, raised $153 million by offering 8.48 million shares at $18, within the range of $17 to $19. The company offered 21% more shares than originally planned, or $26 million more in proceeds. At the $18 offer price, Lexington, MA-based Kiniksa commands a fully diluted market value of $931 million. Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals lists on the Nasdaq under the symbol “KNSA.” Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan acted as lead managers on the deal. Shares closed the week up 8% at $19.41.
2) Scholar Rock Holding Corp., a biotech targeting growth factor inhibition for spinal muscular atrophy, raised $75 million by offering 5.36 million shares at $14, within the range of $13 to $15. At that price, it commands a fully-diluted market value of $350 million. Cambridge, MA-based Scholar Rock lists on the Nasdaq under the symbol “SRRK.” Jefferies, Cowen & Co. and BMO Capital Markets acted as lead managers on the deal. Shares closed the week up 7% at $15.
3) And Iterum Therapeutics Inc., which is developing oral and IV antibiotics for drug-resistant bacterial infections, raised $80 million by offering 6.15 million shares at $13, below the range of $14 to $16. It had planned to offer 5.3 million shares, so with the additional shares, its deal size remained unchanged at $80 million. Iterum Therapeutics lists on the Nasdaq under the symbol “ITRM.” Leerink Partners and RBC Capital Markets acted as lead managers on the deal. Shares closed the week off 1% at $12.85.
2018 IPO Pricings
Chart data generously supplied by IPOScoop.com