C4's Andrew Hirsch blows up IPO to $182M, while oncolytic virus upstart nabs $87M offering
On Friday, Massachusetts-based biotechs C4 Therapeutics and Oncorus became the latest to jump onto Nasdaq.
Less than a month after being tapped as C4 Therapeutics’ new CEO, Bind and Agios vet Andrew Hirsch is marching the biotech to Wall Street with an upsized IPO.
C4, which initially filed for $100 million, priced 9.6 million shares at $19 million apiece, netting $182.4 million. The proceeds will be used to push the company’s first protein degradation candidates into the clinic, according to an S-1/A filing.
C4 is working on small molecule protein degraders that selectively destroy disease-causing proteins, including some that it calls “undruggable.” The Watertown, MA-based preclinical company has burned through $140 million. It’s eyeing a clinical debut for its candidate CFT7455 — which targets IKZF1/3 in multiple myeloma (MM), peripheral T-cell lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma patients — in the first half of 2021.
“We expect to submit an investigational new drug application, or IND, for this product candidate to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, in the fourth quarter of 2020 and begin a first-in-human Phase 1/2 clinical trial for this product in the first half of 2021,” the S-1/A states.
The company said it believes the candidate “could eventually replace therapies based in the class of molecules known as IMiDs as the as the standard of care in multiple indications, including MM.”
C4’s second preclinical candidate, CFT8634 for synovial sarcoma and SMARCB1-deleted solid tumors, is expected to enter a Phase I/II trial by the end of next year. Its BRAF V600E and RET programs, which are still in discovery, could be “in the clinic by the end of 2022,” according to the filing.
Hirsch has an option on 3.5% of the company’s stock with “an exercise price per share equal to the public offering price in the IPO.” That’s on top of a $560,000 base salary and bonus plan. He hails from Agios, where he served as CFO for 4 years. And before that, he wrapped the Bind bankruptcy.
Back in June, C4 raised $170 million, in the form of a $150 million B round and $20 million in venture debt from Perceptive. Cobro, which co-led the B round, holds 6.1% of stock after the offering. Perceptive has 6.3%.
C4 hit Nasdaq on Friday under the ticker $CCCC.
Oncorus priced 5.8 million shares at $15 apiece, the midpoint of a $14 to $16 range, pulling in $87 million. The biotech had initially filed for an $86 million IPO in September.
The biotech’s lead candidate, ONCR-177, is currently in Phase I development for multiple solid tumor cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, breast cancer and melanoma. About $32 million of IPO proceeds will be used to push the candidate, an oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus (oHSV) viral immunotherapy, through Phase I, according to the company’s S-1/A filing.
“We expect to report preliminary data from this trial in multiple data readouts beginning in the second half of 2021 through the second half of 2022,” the filing states.
Oncorus landed a $79.5 million Series B led by Cowen and Perceptive Advisors last year for its work in the oncolytic virus space. So far, the biotech has spent $96.3 million.
“Not all oncolytic viruses are the same and I think the investors that came into this round clearly saw that we were much different than others that are out there,” CEO Ted Ashburn told Endpoints.
Cowen holds 5.5% of the biotech’s shares after the offering, according to the S-1/A. “Entities affiliated with MPM Capital” have 12.4%.
Oncorus will be listed under the ticker $ONCR.
Last week, Nasdaq counted $11.3 billion in biotech IPOs this year. A number of factors, including the Covid-19 pandemic, contributed to a “perfect storm” for an IPO boom, Nasdaq head of healthcare listings Jordan Saxe told Endpoints News. He estimated there will be 65-70 biotech IPOs by the end of the year, on the low end.