After a slow week, the IPO train is back up and running as 3 more biotechs hop aboard
After the IPO market cooled off last week — not just in pharma but the entire market, which saw only one public debut according to Renaissance Capital — three more biotechs filed their S-1 paperwork Friday.
The new entrants are Prometheus Biosciences, Longboard Pharmaceuticals and Gain Therapeutics. Prometheus is penciling in the highest raise of the group, estimating a $125 million influx of cash. Longboard is seeking $86 million, while Gain is looking to raise $40 million.
There have been 16 biotechs to debut on Nasdaq so far this year, with Sana leading the way. Its massive IPO raise, which was updated to more than $675 million after the underwriters exercised all their options, makes up the lion’s share of a combined $2.86 billion fundraise.
Here’s what these biotechs have in store for Nasdaq:
Prometheus looks to make use of the biotech IPO fire
Just a few months after a $130 million crossover round, Prometheus is making the jump to the public market.
Spun out of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the company built a considerable portion of its scientific foundation around the work of Stephan Targan, an IBD specialist who founded the IBD Center at the medical center about 30 years ago. Their lead program, PRA023, is an anti-TL1A antibody. Pfizer has a similar program, but CEO Mark McKenna has ambitions to build a broad pipeline around IBD.
That crossover stretched Prometheus’ runway out to 2023, when McKenna hopes to have three to four programs either IND-ready or in the clinic.
In the initial S-1, Prometheus is looking to fund development for PRA023 in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, as well as their PR600 program — an anti-TNF antibody slated right now as an IBD catch-all. McKenna hopes to complete a Phase II trial for the lead candidate and wrap up IND-enabling studies for PR600.
Also included in the S-1 was a $1 million bonus for McKenna, should he complete the IPO raise by March 9. That comes on top of an industry-standard $500,000 salary last year with $750,000 collected in performance bonuses.
Longboard heads to Nasdaq four months after spinning out
Longboard is making the quick transition to a public company just a few months after spinning out as its own company.
A former neuro subsidiary of Arena Pharma, Longboard came to life in October with $56 million in funding. The biotech was originally the brainchild of Arena CEO Amit Munshi, who arrived at JP Morgan in 2020 with ambitious plans, including launching this subsidiary.
The company has three key programs in its pipeline, starting with LP352, a “next-generation,” clinical stage 5-HT2C agonist. It’s in development for developmental and epileptic encephalopathies, and the S-1 says Longboard wants to use the IPO funds to complete a planned Phase Ib/IIa trial in this space.
Following up is LP143, an agonist of the cannabinoid type 2 receptor, and LP659, an S1P receptor modulator. Those two drugs are targeted at microglial neuroinflammatory diseases. Longboard is seeking to complete Phase I trials for both programs with the IPO money, per the S-1.
Former CFO Kevin Lind was appointed as the new CEO back in October.
Gain to go public with a modest $40 million raise estimate
Seeking the smallest raise of the group, Gain is aiming for a relatively modest $40 million raise given the run of biotechs over the last year or so to seek hefty IPO cash.
Gain focuses on protein misfolding, with an initial goal of treating lysosomal storage disorders. They have exclusively in-licensed a proprietary platform to accomplish this, and are targeting the GLB1 gene to create therapies for GM1 gangliosidosis and the GBA1 Gaucher’s disease and Parkinson’s.
It’s here where Gain will funnel its IPO funds, with the hope of pushing these candidates into Phase I/II trials for their respective indications. The company also has candidates that try to hone in on the IDUA gene in mucopolysaccharidosis type 1 and the GALC gene in Krabbe disease.
Gain emerged from stealth last July with a $10 million Series B round, using that fundraise to set up two IND-enabling studies.