Biotech's IPO raise approaches $5.5B as Nasdaq continues to prove fruitful with 2 debuts and three new filings
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It was another busy week in the biotech IPO market as the second quarter continues to churn out significant investment into the sector.
Recursion led the way with a $436 million raise on Friday, pricing its IPO at $18, the high end of its range. Our own John Carroll went in depth on that raise over the weekend. Also on Friday, preclinical cancer biotech Biomea Fusion debuted with a $153 million raise priced at its own high end of $17 per share. The two companies helped push the combined IPO raise for 2021 to nearly $5.5 billion.
There were also several new SEC filings at the end of last week, with Gyroscope Therapeutics, Talaris Therapeutics and Sagimet Biosciences all submitting their relevant paperwork. Gyroscope and Talaris each penciled in the $100 million that’s become a common placeholder throughout the IPO boom, while Sagimet put down $75 million.
And later this week, biotech is expecting another huge IPO after Zymergen set its terms, expecting at least $400 million in its raise.
A hearty raise for Biomea gets its preclinical R&D to Nasdaq
Biomea is working on small molecules for genetically defined cancers, but with a twist — they want their drugs to be irreversible.
As the company lays out in its S-1, an irreversible small molecule is a synthetic compound that forms a permanent bond to its target protein. The idea here is to induce greater target selectivity, lower drug exposure and provide a much more durable response than typical small molecules.
Biomea is focusing solely on its lead program, known as BMF-219. The candidate comes from the biotech’s irreversible small molecule platform and is aimed at inhibiting menin in menin-dependent cancers. BMF-219 hasn’t hit the clinic yet, but Biomea is hoping to file an IND at some point in the second half of 2021.
The S-1 expands on how Biomea plans to get there. About $80 million to $90 million of the raise will go toward the BMF-219 program, including the IND-enabling studies as well as a planned Phase I/II trial. Another $40 million to $45 million is slated for R&D for two additional undisclosed programs.
Biomea is trading on the ticker $BMEA.
All signs point toward big IPO for Gyroscope
Filing its F-1 on Friday, Gyroscope is looking to capitalize on its significant momentum from the first quarter.
Back in February, the UK-based biotech posted an early win for its AMD gene therapy, noting patients who responded to their GT005 candidate in a Phase I/II trial saw a 146% increase in an important biomarker and a decrease in further downstream biomarkers. Then in March, Gyroscope took that win to the bank in closing a $148 million Series C.
Less than a month later, Gyroscope is pushing forward to Nasdaq. The $100 million written out in their F-1 is likely a modest placeholder, given the nature of their Series C just a few weeks ago. The company plans to use a significant portion of its proceeds to advance GT005 in three studies, as well as fund research in another product known as GT011.
GT005 is currently in two Phase II studies for patients with geographic atrophy, an irreversible degeneration of retinal cells caused by dry-AMD. The candidate is injected under the retina to increase production of the Complement Factor I protein, which Gyroscope believes could dampen an overactive complement system that’s been tied to worsening atrophy in AMD patients.
Once it debuts, Gyroscope plans to trade on the ticker $VISN.
Talaris seeks to transplant itself to the public domain
Talaris, too, recently saw a nine-figure raise, coming in the form of a $115 million Series B back in October.
The mission here is to make organ transplants safer — and potentially eliminate the need for immunosuppressive drugs — by way of allogeneic stem cell therapy. At the time of the Series B, CEO Scott Requadt said he saw “dramatic progress” over the previous 18 months, noting Talaris had its first Phase III trial for the lead FCR001 program in living donor kidney transplant recipients.
FCR001 itself is composed of stem and immune cells that are procured from a healthy donor, who is also the organ transplant donor. Talaris does all its manufacturing itself and is then administered to the patient after “nonmyeloablative conditioning,” according to the biotech’s S-1.
Some of the IPO cash will be funneled toward the registrational Phase III for FCR001, while additional funds will help further R&D and other trials for the program. There will also be some money earmarked for the expansion of CMC operations to support eventual commercialization of the approved product, should it get there.
After pricing, Talaris plans to trade on the ticker $TALS.
Sagimet rides February crossover to IPO filing
Formerly known as 3-V Biosciences, Sagimet brings up the rear among Friday’s filings.
The biotech focuses on developing selective FASN inhibitors for liver diseases and cancers including NASH, for which they released positive Phase II data for the program TVB-2640 in June 2020. Sagimet said the candidate’s high dose had a 61% response rate across 30 patients and led to a mean liver fat reduction of 28.2%.
And this February, Sagimet pulled in an $80 million Series F crossover to help launch a Phase IIb study for that program. The FASN enzyme is involved in lipid synthesis. Inhibiting it, in theory, could reduce fat production and alleviate these target diseases.
Sagimet’s S-1 laid out a fairly vague plan for its IPO raise, noting only that some funds will help the studies and manufacturing for TVB-2640, as well as launching a first in-human trial for another program.
The biotech plans to trade under the ticker $SGMT.