Autoimmune biotech Kiniksa prices upsized $152M IPO as Scholar Rock bags $75M for preclinical SMA drug

Two biotechs that have been on parallel IPO tracks are blasting off with sizable support for their Nasdaq debuts.

Kiniksa got the bulkier raise among the two, reaping $152 million at $18 a share — up from the $126 million it was looking for — by offering 8.44 million shares, or 21% more than originally planned. Scholar Rock, meanwhile, got what it asked for, pricing its $75 million IPO at the midpoint of $14.

Both biotechs are headquartered in the Boston/Cambridge hub, with Kiniksa further along in the clinic.

Sanj Patel, Kiniksa

Lexington, MA-based Kiniksa appealed to investors with a pipeline of drugs for autoinflammatory and autoimmune conditions, including three clinical-stage product candidates that the public offering is meant to fund. Its most advanced asset is an approved interleukin-1 drug licensed from Regeneron named Arcalyst (rilonacept). The drug is currently marketed for cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes, but CEO Sanj Patel and his team think it might be able to treat the inflammatory cardiovascular disease pericarditis.

The biotech, which will list as $KNSA, is conducting an open-label Phase II study for rilonacept, with plans to enter Phase III this year. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan acted as lead managers on the deal.

Nagesh Mahanthappa, Scholar Rock

Run by Nagesh Mahanthappa, Scholar Rock is for now dedicated to bringing its spinal muscular atrophy therapy SRK-015 into the clinic, with hopes to discover additional indications by the second half of next year. Unlike rivals from Novartis and Roche/Biogen, Scholar Rock’s drug inhibits latent, not active, myostatin. In doing so, the treatment aims to boost muscle mass and strength in SMA patients.

The money will also boost other preclinical R&D activities based on Scholar Rock’s platform technology — which targets growth factors by harnessing supracellular activation — in areas ranging from fibrosis and immuno-oncology to anemias associated with iron restriction.

With Jefferies, Cowen & Company and BMO Capital Markets acting as lead managers, Scholar Rock can be spotted on Nasdaq under the symbol $SRRK.

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VP Oncology Biology
Skyhawk Therapeutics Waltham, MA
Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT

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