Codiak lands on Wall Street in second shot at IPO, raises $83M
Codiak Biosciences finally hit Wall Street on Tuesday in its second attempt to go public, but didn’t quite reach its $100 million goal.
The Cambridge, MA-based biotech raised $83 million by pricing 5.5 million shares at $15, the midpoint of a $14 to $16 range. When Codiak $CDAK submitted paperwork with the SEC in September, it initially proposed a $100 million raise — up from the $86.2 million raise it sought back in April 2019. Unfavorable market conditions led Codiak to back out of the first IPO last July.
So far, 2020 has been the year for biotech IPOs. Nasdaq head of healthcare listings Jordan Saxe told Endpoints News that he wouldn’t be surprised if there were 65-70 biotech IPOs (on the low end) before New Year’s. That number is well over the 47 tracked last year by Brad Loncar.
Codiak is engineering exosomes for use as delivery vehicles for a range of therapeutic payloads. Its focus is on a program that uses a STING pathway agonist, licensed from the French biotech Kayla Therapeutics. Nearly 30% of the IPO proceeds — $24.8 million — will go toward clinical development of Codiak’s lead candidate, exoSTING, which is in a Phase I/II trial in patients with advanced/metastatic, recurrent, injectable solid tumors.
Another $34.3 million is designated for the expansion of what Codiak calls its engEx Platform — the engineering of the so-called delivery vehicles. As stated in the S-1/A:
Using our engEx Platform, we have demonstrated preclinically our ability to engineer exosomes to incorporate various types of biologically active drug molecules either on the exosome surface, using PTGFRN as a scaffold, or inside the lumen of the exosome, using BASP1 as a scaffold, to target membrane or cytoplasmic and nuclear drug targets in specific cells.
Finally, $10 million will be used to give exoIL-12, another endEx candidate, a push. That candidate’s in a Phase I trial in healthy volunteers and patients with early stage cutaneous T cell lymphoma, according to the S-1/A.
Since it was founded in 2015, Codiak has burned through $234.8 million. The company is helmed by ex-Biogen research chief Doug Williams, who now holds a 3.49% stake after the offering. ARCH Venture Funds, Flagship Venture Funds and Fidelity hold 19.47%, 13.14% and 10.41% of shares, respectively.
On Monday, SQZ Biotech and Lux Health Tech Acquisition, a SPAC formed by Lux Capital, also filed to go public. SQZ proposed a $75 million raise to develop its cell therapies, while Lux is looking to nab $300 million.