Andrew Hirsch, C4 Therapeutics CEO

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.

IDC: Life Sci­ences Firms Must Em­brace Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion Now

Pre-pandemic, the life sciences industry had settled into a pattern. The average drug took 12 years and $2.9 billion to bring to market, and it was an acceptable mode of operations, according to Nimita Limaye, Research Vice President for Life Sciences R&D Strategy and Technology at IDC.

COVID-19 changed that, and served as a proof-of-concept for how technology can truly help life sciences companies succeed and grow, Limaye said. She recently spoke about industry trends at Egnyte’s Life Sciences Summit 2022. You should watch the entire session, free and on-demand, but here’s a brief recap of why she’s urging life sciences companies to embrace digital transformation.

Geoffrey Porges, new Schrödinger CFO

Long­time an­a­lyst Ge­of­frey Porges de­parts SVB to lead fi­nances at a drug dis­cov­ery shop

Geoffrey Porges has ended his two-decade run as a biotech analyst, as the former SVB Securities vice chair began as CFO of Schrödinger on Thursday.

The long-running analyst, who previously headed up vaccines marketing at Merck before the turn of the millennium, will lead the financial operations of the 700-employee company as Schrödinger broadens its focus from a drug discovery partner to also building out an in-house pipeline, with clinical trial No. 1 set to begin next quarter.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

FDA ap­proves one of the prici­est new treat­ments of all time — blue­bird's gene ther­a­py for be­ta tha­lassemia

The FDA on Wednesday approved the first gene therapy for a chronic condition — bluebird bio’s new Zynteglo (beti-cel) as a potentially curative treatment for those with transfusion-dependent thalassemia.

The thumbs-up from the FDA follows a unanimous adcomm vote in June, with outside experts pointing to extraordinary efficacy, with 89% of subjects with TDT who received beti-cel having achieved transfusion independence.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Joel Dudley, new partner at Innovation Endeavors (Bosch Health Campus)

For­mer Google CEO’s VC is mak­ing a big­ger push in­to the biotech world, hir­ing promi­nent Ther­a­nos skep­tic

Venture capital firm Innovation Endeavors has mainly had its focus on investments across the tech space, but it has been slowly turning its attention to the biotech world. Now, a new partner is coming into the fold showing that its interest in biotech is likely to grow further.

The Silicon Valley-based company, which is headed up by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, has brought on Joel Dudley as a partner. According to Dudley’s LinkedIn page, he is joining Innovation Endeavors after serving as the chief science officer of biotech startup Tempus Labs since 2020.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

James Mock, incoming CFO at Moderna

Mod­er­na taps new CFO from PerkinElmer af­ter for­mer one-day CFO oust­ed

When Moderna hired a new CFO last year,  it didn’t expect to see him gone after only one day. Today the biotech named his — likely much more vetted — replacement.

The mRNA company put out word early Wednesday that after the untimely departure of then brand-new CFO Jorge Gomez, it has now found a replacement in James Mock, the soon-to-be former CFO at diagnostics and analytics company PerkinElmer.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Kate Haviland, Blueprint Medicines CEO

Blue­print met all its end­points in bid for ex­pand­ed Ay­vak­it la­bel — but stock trends low­er any­way

Blueprint Medicines announced this morning that the second part of its study on Ayvakit in non-advanced systemic mastocytosis (SM) — a rare disease in which a type of white blood cells known as mast cells builds up — met all endpoints, but the biopharma left key questions unanswered.

In 212 patients, with 141 in the treatment arm and 71 in the control arm, patients who got Ayvakit saw an average 15.6-point decrease in their symptom scores compared to a 9.2-point decrease in the placebo arm at 24 weeks. In an extension study, those on Ayvakit saw their symptom scores drop by 20.2 points by week 48.

James Sabry, Roche global head of pharma partnering

Roche, Genen­tech plunk down $60M up­front to part­ner with Chi­nese phar­ma on PRO­TAC-based prostate can­cer drug

Roche and Genentech are always on the hunt for deals, and on Thursday they found their newest partner.

The pair will team up with the Chinese pharma company Jemincare to push forward a new program for prostate cancer, the companies announced. Roche is ponying up $60 million upfront to get its hands on the candidate and promising up to $590 million in biobucks, plus royalties, down the line.

In return, Genentech will get a worldwide license to develop the program, known as JMKX002992, and bring it to market.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Andrew Hopkins, Exscientia CEO

Ex­sci­en­tia ter­mi­nates Bay­er pact half a year ear­ly, col­lect­ing small por­tion of €240M promised

Bayer and Exscientia are winding down their three-year collaboration, leaving the big German pharma to take the AI-designed compounds born out of the pact further.

London-based Exscientia revealed in its Q2 update that the partners have “mutually agreed to end” their collaboration, which kicked off in early 2020, after recently achieving a drug discovery milestone. In an SEC filing, Exscientia said it terminated the pact on May 30, about six months early.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images)

Up­dat­ed: Hit by an­oth­er PhI­II flop, Sanofi culls breast can­cer drug — sound­ing alarm for the class

Sanofi is officially giving up on its oral SERD.

The French drugmaker put out word Wednesday morning that it will discontinue the global development program of amcenestrant, the selective estrogen receptor degrader once billed as a top late-stage prospect. Having already failed a Phase II monotherapy test earlier this year, a combo with the drug also missed the bar in a second trial for breast cancer, triggering the decision to drop the whole program.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 148,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.