IN8bio CEO William Ho (IN8bio)

Bring­ing their ge­net­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied gam­ma delta T cells to Nas­daq, IN8bio files for $86M IPO

The biotech IPO pa­rade con­tin­ues march­ing for­ward as 2020 turns to­ward the fourth quar­ter.

IN8bio, a New York-based com­pa­ny fo­cused on ge­net­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied gam­ma delta T cell ther­a­pies, filed to go pub­lic Fri­day seek­ing an $86 mil­lion raise. The com­pa­ny has two clin­i­cal-stage can­di­dates be­ing stud­ied in glioblas­toma and leukemia, re­spec­tive­ly.

By any stretch of the imag­i­na­tion, 2020 has al­ready been a huge year for biotech, and nowhere does it ap­pear more ob­vi­ous than the vast amounts of com­pa­nies hit­ting the pub­lic mar­ket.

The most up­dat­ed of­fi­cial tal­ly comes from Nas­daq’s head of health­care list­ings Jor­dan Saxe, who told End­points News in late Sep­tem­ber that the tal­ly sat at 56 IPOs with a com­bined $11.3 bil­lion raise. At least an­oth­er sev­en com­pa­nies have priced since then, bring­ing the un­of­fi­cial count above 60.

In the last four years, on­ly 2018 comes close in terms of biotechs go­ing pub­lic. That to­tal match­es that year’s tab from in­de­pen­dent an­a­lyst Brad Lon­car. Sev­er­al fac­tors have con­tributed to the boom, Saxe said at the time, no­tably with the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic high­light­ing an al­ready-im­pres­sive amount of in­no­va­tion in the field.

There’s al­so been a steady in­crease of crossover in­vestors from the last few years, Saxe said, and with the pan­dem­ic econ­o­my, the fact that biotechs can pro­vide longer-term in­vest­ments than com­pa­nies re­liant on quar­ter-to-quar­ter sales num­bers makes the in­dus­try more ap­peal­ing. He added that a “con­ser­v­a­tive” es­ti­mate of the fi­nal 2020 IPO num­ber will end up be­tween 65 and 70.

IN8bio’s first can­di­date deals with new­ly-di­ag­nosed glioblas­toma and re­cent­ly en­tered Phase I, as the first pa­tient was dosed in June. Dubbed INB-200, the pro­gram is ex­pect­ed to see its first da­ta read­out in 2021.

The work­ing the­o­ry be­hind this pro­gram cen­ters around com­bin­ing con­ven­tion­al chemother­a­pies with gam­ma delta T cells to al­ter the tu­mor mi­croen­vi­ron­ment. IN8bio us­es its tech to make the cells re­sis­tant to chemother­a­py as a way of avoid­ing the white blood cell death that nor­mal­ly ac­com­pa­nies such treat­ment.

Their sec­ond can­di­date is called INB-100 and fo­cus­es on leukemia. Al­so hav­ing re­cent­ly be­gun dos­ing pa­tients in May, INB-100 da­ta is first an­tic­i­pat­ed to­ward the end of 2022.

It’s here where IN8bio plans to al­lo­cate a good por­tion of its IPO raise. Though the biotech did not get in­to too many specifics, IN8bio said in its S-1 it plans to com­plete these two Phase I stud­ies and ini­ti­ate Phase II in both pro­grams with the ex­pect­ed funds. The rest will go to­ward an IND and a Phase I for a third pro­gram in new­ly di­ag­nosed glioblas­toma, as well as oth­er var­i­ous R&D and ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ters.

For­mer­ly known as In­cy­sus, IN8bio changed its name in Au­gust and was found­ed in 2016.

M&A: a crit­i­cal dri­ver for sus­tain­able top-line growth in health­care

2021 saw a record $600B in healthcare M&A activity. In 2022, there is an anticipated slowdown in activity, however, M&A prospects remain strong in the medium to long-term. What are future growth drivers for the healthcare sector? Where might we see innovations that drive M&A? RBC’s Andrew Callaway, Global Head, Healthcare Investment Banking discusses with Vito Sperduto, Global Co-Head, M&A.

15 LGBTQ lead­ers in bio­phar­ma; Paul Stof­fels’ Gala­pa­gos re­vamp; As­traZeneca catch­es up in AT­TR; 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.

A return to in-person conferences also marks a return to on-the-ground reporting. My colleagues Beth Synder Bulik and Nicole DeFeudis were on-site at Cannes Lions, bringing live coverage of pharma’s presence at the ad festival — accompanied by photos from Clara Bui, our virtual producer, that bring you right to the scene. You can find a recap (and links to all the stories) below.

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AstraZeneca's new Evusheld direct to consumer campaign aims to reach more immunocompromised patients.

As­traZeneca de­buts first con­sumer cam­paign for its Covid-19 pro­phy­lac­tic Evusheld — and a first for EUA drugs

AstraZeneca’s first consumer ad for Evusheld is also a first for drugs that have been granted emergency use authorizations during the pandemic.

The first DTC ad for a medicine under emergency approval, the Evusheld campaign launching this week aims to raise awareness among immunocompromised patients — and spur more use.

Evusheld nabbed emergency authorization in December, however, despite millions of immunocompromised people looking for a solution and now more widespread availability of the drug.

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De­spite a slow start to the year for deals, PwC pre­dicts a flur­ry of ac­tiv­i­ty com­ing up

Despite whispers of a busy year for M&A, deal activity in the pharma space is actually down 30% on a semi-annualized basis, according to PwC’s latest report on deal activity. But don’t rule out larger deals in the second half of the year, the consultants said.

PwC pharmaceutical and life sciences consulting solutions leader Glenn Hunzinger expects to see Big Pharma companies picking up earlier stage companies to try and fill pipeline gaps ahead of a slew of big patent cliffs. Though a bear market continues to maul the biotech sector, Hunzinger said recent deals indicate that pharma companies are still paying above current trading prices.

Abortion-rights protesters regroup and protest following Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Fol­low­ing SCO­TUS de­ci­sion to over­turn abor­tion pro­tec­tions, AG Gar­land says states can't ban the abor­tion pill

Following the Supreme Court’s historic decision on Friday to overturn Americans’ constitutional right to an abortion after almost 50 years, Attorney General Merrick Garland sought to somewhat reassure women that states will not be able to ban the prescription drug sometimes used for abortions.

Following the decision, the New England Journal of Medicine also published an editorial strongly condemning the reversal, saying it “serves American families poorly, putting their health, safety, finances, and futures at risk.”

Yong Dai, Frontera Therapeutics CEO

Scoop: Lit­tle-known Or­biMed-backed biotech clos­es $160M round to start gene ther­a­py tri­al

Frontera Therapeutics, a China and US biotech, has closed a $160 million Series B and received regulatory clearance to test its first gene therapy stateside, Endpoints News has learned.

Led by the largest shareholder, OrbiMed, the biotech has secured $195 million total since its September 2019 founding, according to an email reviewed by Endpoints. The lead AAV gene therapy program is for an undisclosed rare eye disease, according to the source.

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Spanish Prime Minister Pédro Sanchez and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

EU to launch vac­cine de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing part­ner­ship with Latin Amer­i­can and Caribbean coun­tries

While European companies, including BioNTech, are focused on increasing vaccine access to African countries by setting up vaccine manufacturing facilities, the European Union is looking westward to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Speaking at a press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pédro Sanchez, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that the EU is launching a new initiative for vaccines and medicines manufacturing in Latin America, to get drugs to Latin America and the Caribbean faster.

DEM BioPharma CEO David Donabedian (L) and executive chair Jan Skvarka

Long­wood sets an­oth­er 'don't eat me' biotech in­to gear with help of for­mer Tril­li­um CEO Jan Skvar­ka

Jonathan Weissman and team are out with a cancer-fighting biotech riding the appetite for those so-called “don’t eat me” and “eat me” signals.

The scientific co-founder — alongside fellow Whitehead Institute colleague Kipp Weiskopf and Stanford biologist Michael Bassik — has launched DEM BioPharma with incubator Longwood Fund and a crop of other investors.

In all, the nascent, 10-employee biotech has $70 million to bankroll hematology- and solid tumor-based programs, including a lead asset that could enter human trials in two to three years, CEO David Donabedian told Endpoints News.

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GSK says its drug for chron­ic hep B could ‘lead to a func­tion­al cure’ — but will it be alone or in com­bi­na­tion?

GSK, newly branded and soon-to-be demerged, shared interim results from its Phase II trial on its chronic hepatitis B treatment, one that it says has the “potential to lead to a functional cure.”

At a presentation at the EASL International Liver Congress, GSK shared that in around 450 patients who received its hep B drug bepirovirsen for 24 weeks, just under 30% had hepatitis B surface antigen and viral DNA levels that were too low to detect.