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.

The top 100 bio­phar­ma VCs, Bob Brad­way places $2B bet in can­cer, gene edit­ing pi­o­neer's new big idea, and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

Before diving in, we had some news to share: Endpoints is launching a premium weekly report focusing on all things regulatory. Coverage will be led by our new senior editor, Zachary Brennan, who joins us from POLITICO. Arsalan Arif has more details in his Publisher’s Note.

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Robert Bradway (Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Am­gen snaps up can­cer drug play­er Five Prime, adding PhI­II-ready FGFR2b drug in $2B M&A play

Amgen is making a long-awaited move on the M&A side, buying South San Francisco-based Five Prime $FPRX for close to $2 billion and adding a slate of new cancer drugs to the pipeline.

Amgen is paying $38 a share, putting the deal value at $1.9 billion. The stock closed at $21.26 last night, giving investors a 78% premium.

The jewel in the crown of this deal is bemarituzumab, which Amgen describes as a first-in-class, Phase III-ready anti-FGFR2b antibody. Amgen was drawn to the bargaining table by Five Prime’s mid-stage data on gastric cancer, satisfied by PFS and OS data helping to validate FGFR2b as a target. Amgen researchers will now expand on the R&D program in other epithelial cancers, including lung, breast, ovarian and other cancers.

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David Liu (Casey Atkins Photography courtesy Broad Institute)

David Liu has a new big idea: pro­teome edit­ing. It could one day shred tau, RAS and some of the worst dis­ease-caus­ing pro­teins

Before David Liu became famous for inventing new forms of gene editing, he was known around academia in part for a more obscure innovation: a Rube Goldberg-esque system that uses bacteria-infecting viruses to take one protein and turn it into another.

Since 2011, Liu’s lab has used the system, called PACE, to dream up fantastical new proteins: DNA base editors far more powerful than the original; more versatile forms of the gene editor Cas9; insecticides that kill insecticide-resistant bugs; enzymes that slide synthetic amino acids into living organisms. But they struggled throughout to master one of the most common and powerful proteins in the biological world: proteases, a set of Swiss army knife enzymes that cut, cleave or shred other proteins in everything from viruses to humans.

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The 2021 top 100 bio­phar­ma in­vestors: As the pan­dem­ic hit and IPOs boomed, VCs swung in­to ac­tion like nev­er be­fore

The global pandemic may have roiled economies, killed hundreds of thousands and throttled entire industries, but the only effect it had on biopharma venture investing was to help turbocharge the field to giddy new heights.

Below you’ll find the new top 100 venture investors in the industry, ranked by the number of deals they were publicly involved in, as tracked by DealForma chief Chris Dokomajilar. The numbers master then calculated the estimated amount of money they put into each deal — divvying up the cash by the number of players — to indicate how they managed their syndicates.

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UP­DAT­ED: Not 3 weeks af­ter tak­ing Hu­ma­cyte pub­lic, Ra­jiv Shuk­la launch­es an­oth­er blank check com­pa­ny

One of biotech’s earliest SPAC investors is back with another blank-check company, less than a month after his last effort announced its intent to merge.

Rajiv Shukla is intending to take a third lucky winner public with Alpha Healthcare Acquisition III, filing to go public Thursday with a $150 million raise penciled in. The move comes just a couple of weeks after Shukla’s second SPAC said it would jump to Nasdaq in tandem with Laura Niklason’s Humacyte in a $255 million new investment.

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Bruce Cozadd, Jazz CEO (Jazz Pharmaceuticals)

Jazz CEO Bruce Cozadd cam­paigned for 6 months to buy GW Phar­ma. A 90% pre­mi­um sealed the deal — along with $17.6M in ‘re­ten­tion’ in­cen­tives

Jazz CEO Bruce Cozadd didn’t beat around the bush.

In his first video meeting with GW Pharma chief Justin Gover last July 8, he offered to pay $172 a share to get the company, which had beaten the odds in getting its remarkable cannabinoid drug Epidiolex across the regulatory finish line for epilepsy. GW’s stock closed at $129 that day.

Cozadd had already done his homework on the financing to make sure he could swing it the way he wanted. He just needed to do some due diligence before making the non-binding bid firm.

Paul Hudson, Getty Images

How does Paul Hud­son's $13.5M comp pack­age stack up against oth­er CEOs? He's in the 'first quar­tile'

Paul Hudson arrived at Sanofi like a hurricane, chopping off duds in the pipeline, shaking up the C-suite, striking big M&A deals and jumping into the Covid-19 vaccine race — all in an attempt to reboot a pharma giant notorious for its setbacks.

Now, we’re getting a look at what the CEO brought home in his first year on the job.

When all is said and done, Hudson will have made about $6.7 million in 2020, about $2.5 million of which has already been paid. The bigger figure includes a $2.3 million bonus that’s subject to approval at an April meeting, and another $1.8 million in variable compensation that has yet to be paid.

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An Ar­ray co-founder re-emerges as CEO of a small aca­d­e­m­ic spin­out, look­ing to re­make an old class of can­cer drugs

Tony Piscopio hadn’t worked as a bench scientist in years when, around 2011, he got put in touch with a team at the University of Colorado trying to revitalize an old approach to treating cancer.

Piscopio, who had co-founded Array Biopharma before heading to South Korea to launch a new company, was back in the states, unattached and intrigued. He founded a three-person company with two professors, Xuedong Liu and Gail Eckhardt, and while they worked on the biology side, he returned to his old chemist chair and began drawing up potential compounds on a computer, along with manufacturing processes to make them. Outsourcing companies synthesized or analyzed the results.

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Af­ter three years of courtship (and turn­downs), Mer­ck pounced on the first glance of clin­i­cal da­ta in $1.85B Pan­dion takeover

It’s almost become cliché for biotech executives to talk about the importance of keeping your options open and being prepared to go all the way. But when it comes to negotiating with a giant like Merck, a little patience can indeed go a long way.

Just ask Pandion Therapeutics.

Days ago we already learned that Merck is shelling out $1.85 billion to pick up the biotech and its slate of autoimmune hopefuls. What we didn’t know until the SEC disclosure dropped Thursday is that the deal comes after Pandion turned down two other proposals from Merck over the past three years and held out until the last minute for a sweetened deal.

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