Two healthcare companies raised $111M last week, and a jaw-dropping seven more filed with the SEC, adding to what has been a blistering May for IPOs.
First, the pricings:
1) IDEAYA Biosciences Inc., a Phase 1 biotech developing targeted therapies for genetically-defined cancers, raised $50 million by offering 5 million shares at $10, below the range of $13 to $15. IDEAYA is focused on targeted cancer therapies and synthetic lethality–the strategy of targeting two genes simultaneously for a more potent effect. It’s starting out with an early-stage drug picked up for a song from Novartis AG. The plan is to take the drug, a PKC inhibitor for cancers with GNAQ and GNA11 mutations, straight into a basket study in solid tumors, then follow that with a slate of preclinical programs composing what Hata sees as the most “diverse portfolio” in the precision medicine field.
South San Francisco-based IDEAYA Biosciences lists on the Nasdaq under the symbol “IDYA.” J.P. Morgan, Citi and Jefferies acted as lead managers on the deal. Shares closed the week up 13% at $11.25. They closed Tuesday, May 28, up 14 cents at $11.39.
2) Bicycle Therapeutics Inc., a Phase 1 biotech developing novel oncology medicines based on bicyclic peptides, raised $61 million by offering 4.3 million ADSs at $14, the low end of the range of $14 to $16. Insiders had intended to purchase up to $25 million of the IPO. The company owes its name on the synthetic short peptides it’s developing, which are made up of 9 to 15 amino acids and create two loops like the wheels of a bicycle. The theory is that the smaller structure and adjustable half-life allows their drugs to do their job–dropping a payload either aimed at a disease target or an immune response–and get out of the body quicker than antibodies, lowering the hurdle on toxicity.
The Cambridge, UK-based company lists on the Nasdaq under the symbol “BCYC.” Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and Piper Jaffray acted as joint book-running managers on the deal. Shares closed the week down 7% at $13.05. They closed Tuesday, May 28, down another 6% at $12.28.
Next, new filings:
1) Included among the SEC filings for initial public offerings, Personalis Inc., which provides a genome-sequencing platform for cancer research, registered up to $115 million worth of common stock. The Menlo Park, CA-based company was founded in 2011 and booked $48 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31, 2019.
Personalis bills itself as a growing cancer genomics company transforming the development of next-generation therapies by providing more comprehensive molecular data about each patient’s cancer and immune response. They claim to have designed the NeXT Platform to adapt to the complex and evolving understanding of cancer, providing their biopharmaceutical customers with information on all of the approximately 20,000 human genes, together with the immune system, in contrast to many cancer panels that cover roughly 50 to 500 genes.
Personalis plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “PSNL.” Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch and Cowen are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.
2) Elsewhere, Stoke Therapeutics Inc., which is developing therapies that increase gene expression to treat severe genetic diseases, registered up to $86 million worth of common.
The company is pioneering a new way to treat the underlying causes of severe genetic diseases by precisely upregulating protein expression. They are developing novel antisense oligonucleotide, or ASO, medicines that target ribonucleic acid, or RNA, and modulate precursor-messenger RNA, or pre-mRNA, splicing to upregulate protein expression where needed and with appropriate specificity to near normal levels. They plan to submit an investigational new drug application for lead candidate STK-001 by early 2020 and expect to initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in the first half of 2020.
Bedford, MA-based Stoke was founded in 2014 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “STOK.” J.P. Morgan, Cowen, and Credit Suisse are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.
Then on Friday after the markets closed, five more biotech’s tossed their S-1s into the ring, scoring at least 22 IPO entrants for the year to date. That just barely tops the 20 biotechs that had gone public by this time last year.
The latecomers to the party included:
1) Atreca Inc., a preclinical biotech developing immunotherapies for solid tumors, which registered up to $100 million worth of common. The company is focused on immunotherapies, by using tissue samples from cancer patients to gather “ideal” antibodies, employing B cells as their sounding board, for use in solid tumors. Atreca expects to submit an FDA application to test its lead experimental drug, ATRC-101, in humans in late 2019, and kick off an early-stage trial in early 2020. The Redwood City, CA-based company was founded in 2010 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “BCEL.” Atreca filed confidentially on April 24, 2019. Cowen, Evercore ISI and Stifel are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.
2) BridgeBio Pharma Inc., a Phase 3 biotech developing therapies for genetic diseases, registered up to $225 million worth of common. The company focuses on genetic diseases encompassing dermatology, oncology, cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, renal disease, and ophthalmology. BridgeBio now has 16 programs, of which 4 are in or approaching late-stage development. The Palo Alto, CA-based company was founded in 2015 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “BBIO.” J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, SVB Leerink, KKR, Piper Jaffray, Mizuho Securities, BMO Capital Markets and Raymond James are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.
3) Dermavant Sciences Ltd., a Phase 3 biotech developing therapies for dermatological diseases, registered up to $100 million worth of common. Lead candidate is tapinarof, a topical cream for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. It acquired global rights to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor modulating agent from GlaxoSmithKline in August 2018. Two pivotal Phase 3 studies were launched in May.The London, UK-based company was founded in 2015 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “DRMT.” Dermavant Sciences filed confidentially on December 20, 2018. Jefferies, SVB Leerink and Guggenheim Securities are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.
4) Prevail Therapeutics Inc., an early stage biotech developing gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, registered up to $100 million in an IPO. The New York-based company aims to develop a broader set of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on genetically defined patient populations. In Parkinson’s, that means targeting the GBA1 mutation–an underlying driver of the (less common) neurological manifestations of a common lysosomal storage disorder known as Gaucher disease. The company was founded in 2017 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “PRVL.” Prevail Therapeutics filed confidentially on March 27, 2019. Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch and Cowen are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.
5) And Akero Therapeutics Inc., an early stage biotech developing therapies for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other metabolic diseases, registered up to $86 million worth of common. Akero is focused on making the case for its FGF21 analog–in-licensed from Amgen–in disrupting disease progression, starting from the fat accumulation that is believed to cause cell stress. After treating 83 type 2 diabetes patients with the drug, investigators observed better plasma lipoprotein levels and insulin sensitivity. All of which indicates “the potential of AKR-001 to redirect calories away from the liver, reduce liver fat, alleviate hepatocyte stress, inhibit inflammation and resolve fibrosis in patients with NASH.
The South San Francisco, CA-based company was founded in 2017 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “AKRO.” J.P. Morgan, Jefferies, Evercore ISI and Roth Capital are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.
Other IPO news:
Peloton Therapeutics Inc., a Phase 2 biotech developing small-molecule HIF-2a inhibitors for kidney cancer, announced that it would be acquired by Merck & Co. for $1.05 billion, plus up to $1.15 billion in milestone payments. It had filed to raise $150 million at a fully-diluted post-IPO market cap of $742 million. Primary shareholders included The Column Group, Remeditex Ventures, Topspin Partners, RA Capital Management, The Regents of the University of California and Nextech Invest. The Dallas, TX-based company was founded in 2010 and had planned to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “PLTX.” J.P. Morgan, Citi and Jefferies were set to be the joint bookrunners on the deal.
(Endpoints furnished supplemental data on the 5 latecomers to last week’s IPO rain dance)