Co­di­ak files for an IPO, again, this time shoot­ing for a nine-dig­it raise

Sec­ond time’s the charm?

Co­di­ak Bio­sciences is fil­ing for an IPO once again, sub­mit­ting pa­per­work Wednes­day, af­ter back­ing out of its pre­vi­ous at­tempt in Ju­ly 2019 due to un­fa­vor­able mar­ket con­di­tions. The com­pa­ny is pric­ing in a new raise of $100 mil­lion, up from $86 mil­lion in its ini­tial pur­suit.

There have al­ready been four dozen biotech IPOs so far this year, net­ting the sec­tor more than $11 bil­lion.

Doug Williams

The Cam­bridge, MA-based out­fit is head­ed by the ex-Bio­gen re­search chief Doug Williams, who has about a 5% stake in the com­pa­ny, ac­cord­ing to the S-1. Ma­jor in­vestors hold the li­on’s share of the stock, with ARCH Ven­ture Funds own­ing 28.3%, Flag­ship Ven­ture Funds hold­ing 18.9% and Fi­deli­ty tak­ing 14.1% of the pie.

Co­di­ak has fo­cused its re­search on a plat­form that re­pur­pos­es ex­o­somes as de­liv­ery ve­hi­cles for a range of ther­a­peu­tic pay­loads, from small mol­e­cules to pro­teins to nu­cle­ic acids. Specif­i­cal­ly, the biotech has honed in on a pro­gram that us­es a STING path­way ag­o­nist, li­censed from a French com­pa­ny called Kay­la Ther­a­peu­tics. Its lead can­di­date, dubbed ex­oST­ING, over­ex­press­es Co­di­ak’s pro­pri­etary scaf­fold pro­tein PT­GFRN and is loaded with a syn­thet­ic CDN to tar­get this path­way.

By trans­port­ing the com­pound di­rect­ly to anti­gen pre­sent­ing cells, Co­di­ak hopes to har­ness the po­ten­tial of the STING path­way while avoid­ing tox­i­c­i­ty that stems from “leak­age” out of the tu­mor. Co­di­ak aims to use some of this new fund­ing to con­duct a Phase I/II tri­al, study­ing ex­oST­ING in pa­tients with ad­vanced/metasta­t­ic, re­cur­rent, in­jectable sol­id tu­mors.

Some of the mon­ey will al­so go to­ward an­oth­er of Co­di­ak’s pro­grams, ex­oIL-12. The run­ner-up in the pipeline is en­gi­neered to fa­cil­i­tate tu­mor re­ten­tion and sus­tained ac­tiv­i­ty us­ing the same scaf­fold pro­tein as ex­oST­ING. Mon­ey from the raise will sup­port a Phase I tri­al in healthy vol­un­teers and ear­ly stage cu­ta­neous T cell lym­phoma.

The re­main­der of the funds will help ex­pand Co­di­ak’s en­gEx plat­form, in­clud­ing the ad­vance­ment of R&D for oth­er pre­clin­i­cal and dis­cov­ery pro­grams, as well as mis­cel­la­neous cor­po­rate pur­pos­es.

Williams has led the com­pa­ny through sev­er­al im­pres­sive fundrais­ing rounds, col­lect­ing $162.8 mil­lion in the com­pa­ny’s first two years af­ter be­ing found­ed in 2017. Co­di­ak al­so inked a $56 mil­lion deal with Jazz and a $72.5 mil­lion pact with Sarep­ta to de­vel­op the first mul­ti­ple-dose gene ther­a­py.

The ex­o­some field is grow­ing, how­ev­er, as Co­di­ak gained a no­table com­peti­tor at the end of Ju­ly, when Mantra Bio came out of stealth with a $25 mil­lion Se­ries A. Found­ed by Alex Mok, Katie Planey, and Ter­ry Gaige, the biotech is seek­ing to solve some of the tra­di­tion­al ex­o­some prob­lems us­ing a com­pu­ta­tion­al plat­form to find tar­gets, de­sign ex­o­somes and then build a set of them in their lab.

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In­no­v­a­tive MedTech De­mands Spe­cial­ist Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs and De­sign

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Illustration: Kim Ryu for Endpoints News

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Ted Love, Global Blood Therapeutics CEO

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HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra (Patrick Semansky/AP Images)

US weighs new route of ad­min­is­tra­tion for mon­key­pox vac­cine as cas­es climb — re­port

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