Basking in limelight of a CRISPR breakthrough, Intellia bags $600M cash raise as shares soar to all-time high
“Raise money when you can, not when you have to” has become a familiar refrain in the biotech world. On the heels of a landmark breakthrough for in vivo CRISPR/Cas9 editing, Intellia Therapeutics is certainly taking it to heart.
The gene editing pioneer has loaded up in a new public offering that sold its shares at $145 a pop — a 60% jump from its closing price on Friday, just ahead of an industry-shaking milestone. Over the weekend, it dropped initial data suggesting that it can use CRISPR to directly edit DNA in humans, offering a landmark proof-of-concept for the burgeoning field.
The gross proceeds come in at $600 million, and you can expect some deductions off that for expenses.
The cash will go toward clinical development of its lead programs, the biotech wrote in an SEC filing, as well as other pipeline candidates and the CRISPR platform — based on the work of Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna — as a whole.
The top program, now endowed with clinical data, is a CRISPR/Cas9 system encased in a lipid nanoparticle that’s designed to cut a gene out of the liver cells of patients with ATTR amyloidosis, a deadly disease where a misshapen protein called TTR builds up and damages organs throughout the body. Patients who received a high dose of the therapy saw their protein levels fall between 80% and 96%, indicating the therapy permanently cut the genome where desired.
Its shares have now crossed the $150 line to a historic high.