Bicycle raises $61M in downsized IPO, joining fellow biotechs on Nasdaq who have hauled in $1.6B collectively
A splashy syndicate, some big name partnerships and a technology designed to deliver a therapeutic payload more precisely have enticed public investors to Bicycle Therapeutics’ Nasdaq debut, which totaled at $61 million.
The biotech priced its downsized IPO $BCYC — in which insiders purchased up to $25 million — at $14, the low end of the range, a month after penciling in $86 million in the S-1.
With roots in Cambridge, UK dating back to 2009, Bicycle has a foot planted in the big Boston/Cambridge hub on the other side of the Atlantic. It 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.
That approach, CEO Kevin Lee contends, is applicable in both its in-house oncology work as well as the respiratory field (where AstraZeneca has signed up to collaborate) and non-malignant hematology (with a deal with Sanofi’s Bioverativ to tout).
Bicycle has raised $147 million in cash so far for its largely preclinical drive from pacts and VCs, with a big assist from the corporates including Novartis and SR One, still a part of GSK. Vertex, SV and Atlas are also in for some equity.
It marks the 16th IPO of 2019 in the run-up to a half-year tally, contributing to a total of $1.6 billion raised so far. For comparison, a buoyant 2018 saw 32 biotechs go public in the first two quarters, compared to 16 in 2017 and 17 in 2016.