Den­mark's Gen­mab hits the jack­pot with $500M+ US IPO as small­er biotechs rake in a com­bined $147M

Dan­ish drug­mak­er Gen­mab A/S is off to the races with per­haps one of the biggest biotech pub­lic list­ings in decades, hav­ing reaped over $500 mil­lion on the Nas­daq, as it po­si­tions it­self as a bonafide play­er in an­ti­body-based can­cer ther­a­pies.

The com­pa­ny, which has long served as J&J’s $JNJ key part­ner on the block­buster mul­ti­ple myelo­ma ther­a­py Darza­lex, has as­sert­ed it has been look­ing to launch its own pro­pri­etary prod­uct — one it owns at least half of — by 2025.

There are at least five such prod­ucts — which Gen­mab has fond­ly chris­tened “knock-your-socks-off an­ti­bod­ies” — in­clud­ing an an­ti­body-drug con­ju­gate (ADC) called ti­so­tum­ab ve­dotin be­ing co-de­vel­oped with Seat­tle Ge­net­ics $SGEN, and an­oth­er ADC called enapotam­ab ve­dotin that the com­pa­ny ful­ly owns. Then there’s an an­ti­body tar­get­ing sol­id tu­mors called Hexa­Body-DR5/DR5 as well as a bis­pe­cif­ic an­ti­body en­gi­neered to fight B-cell ma­lig­nan­cies called Duo­Body-CD3xCD20 — which are al­so ful­ly owned by Gen­mab. Fi­nal­ly, there’s an­oth­er bis­pe­cif­ic an­ti­body — Duo­Body-PD-L1x4-1BB — whose de­vel­op­ment is split with BioN­Tech.

Apart from these, the Copen­hagen based com­pa­ny has a string of oth­er part­ners: Gilead $GILD, No­vo Nordisk $NVO, Am­gen $AMGN, Im­mat­ics and ADC Ther­a­peu­tics.

On Thurs­day, the Copen­hagen-based com­pa­ny said it gen­er­at­ed gross pro­ceeds of $505,875,000 by sell­ing 2,850,000 or­di­nary shares of Gen­mab in the form of 28.5 mil­lion Amer­i­can De­posi­tary Shares (ADSs) at a price of $17.75 per ADS. It is set to trade un­der the sym­bol “GMAB”.

Last week, the com­pa­ny had set out the po­ten­tial terms of its IPO: with a plan to sell 27.8 mil­lion shares at $18.11 per ADS, which would have trans­lat­ed to a mar­ket cap of a whop­ping $11.8 bil­lion.

Darza­lex, which raked in $90 mil­lion in mile­stone pay­ments and $262 mil­lion in roy­al­ties and ac­count­ed for near­ly 76% of Gen­mab’s 2018 rev­enue, cur­rent­ly is be­ing test­ed in mul­ti­ple tri­als in a bid to ex­pand its use. Mean­while, com­pe­ti­tion from Sanofi $SNY is loom­ing.

Mike Grey Linkedin

Gen­mab’s oth­er mar­ket­ed treat­ment Arz­er­ra — part­nered with No­var­tis $NVS — has not fared as well. Last year, the Swiss drug­mak­er record­ed net sales of $26 mil­lion — gen­er­at­ing rough­ly $5 mil­lion in roy­al­ties for Gen­mab. The drug has been cleared for use in chron­ic lym­pho­cyt­ic leukemia and is now be­ing stud­ied for mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis.

There were an­oth­er cou­ple of small­er IPO pric­ings on Wednes­day.

Af­ter wrest­ing con­trol of two liv­er drugs from Shire and prim­ing them for piv­otal tri­als — Mirum Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals’ Mike Grey has steered the Cal­i­for­nia biotech to a $75 mil­lion IPO. The two drugs — mar­al­ix­i­bat and volix­i­bat — cost Mirum $7.5 mil­lion up­front. Shire — now part of Take­da — had wa­gered $260 mil­lion on Lu­me­na (where Grey was once CEO) large­ly on the promise of these two as­sets, which both tar­get the api­cal sodi­um-de­pen­dent bile acid trans­porter, a pro­tein ex­pressed in the small in­tes­tine.

Bob Gould Ful­crum

The com­pa­ny — which has raised $120 mil­lion Se­ries A cash since launch­ing last No­vem­ber — has sold 5 mil­lion shares at $15/share — at the mid­point of its range of $14 to $16. It is set to trade on the Nas­daq on Thurs­day un­der the sym­bol “MIRM”.

While on the east coast, Ful­crum Ther­a­peu­tics has raised gross pro­ceeds of $72 mil­lion, by sell­ing 4.5 mil­lion shares at $16/share — the low­er end of its range of $16 to $18.

The Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts-based com­pa­ny — which raised $80 mil­lion in a Se­ries B round to shep­herd the first of its gene-reg­u­lat­ing small mol­e­cules in­to the clin­ic last Sep­tem­ber — is run by biotech vet­er­an Bob Gould who for­mer­ly served as Epizyme’s chief. The com­pa­ny is set to trade on Thurs­day un­der the sym­bol “FULC” on the Nas­daq.

So­cial im­age: Shut­ter­stock

Biotech and Big Phar­ma: A blue­print for a suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship

Strategic partnerships have long been an important contributor to how drugs are discovered and developed. For decades, big pharma companies have been forming alliances with biotech innovators to increase R&D productivity, expand geographical reach and better manage late-stage commercialization costs.

Noël Brown, Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Investment Banking, and Greg Wiederrecht, Ph.D., Managing Director in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at RBC Capital Markets, are no strangers to the importance of these tie-ups. Noël has over 20 years of investment banking experience in the industry. Before moving to the banking world in 2015, Greg was the Vice President and Head of External Scientific Affairs (ESA) at Merck, where he was responsible for the scientific assessment of strategic partnership opportunities worldwide.

Credit: Shutterstock

How Chi­na turned the ta­bles on bio­phar­ma's glob­al deal­mak­ing

Fenlai Tan still gets chills thinking about the darkest day of his life.

Three out of eight lung cancer patients who received a tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed by his company, Betta Pharma, died in the span of a month. Tan, the chief medical officer, was summoned to Peking Union Medical College Hospital, where the head of the clinical trial department told him that the trial investigators would be conducting an autopsy to see if the patients had died of the disease — they were all very sick by the time they enrolled — or of interstitial lung disease, a deadly side effect tied to the TKI class that’s been reported in Japan.

No­var­tis' sec­ond at­tempt to repli­cate a stun­ning can­cer re­sult falls flat

Novartis’ hopes of turning one of the most surprising trial data points of the last decade into a lung cancer drug has taken another setback.

The Swiss pharma announced Monday that its IL-1 inhibitor canakinumab did not significantly extend the lives or slow the disease progression of patients with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer when compared to standard of-care alone.

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Peter Nell, Mammoth Biosciences CBO

UP­DAT­ED: Jen­nifer Doud­na spin­out inks a Mam­moth CRISPR deal with Ver­tex worth near­ly $700M

When a company gets its start in gene editing pioneer Jennifer Doudna’s lab, it’s bound to make headlines. But three years in, the fanfare still hasn’t died down for Mammoth Biosciences. Now, the Brisbane, CA-based company is cheering on its first major R&D pact.

Mammoth unveiled a nearly $700 million deal with Vertex on Tuesday morning, good for the development of in vivo gene therapies for two mystery diseases. The stars of the show are Mammoth’s ultra-small CRISPR systems, including two Cas enzymes licensed from Doudna’s lab over the past couple years, Cas14 and Casɸ.

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James Peyer, Cambrian CEO

Brent Saun­ders joins $100M Se­ries C for a com­pa­ny out to be the Bridge­Bio of ag­ing

About a year ago, James Peyer, a CEO and co-founder of the little known longevity biotech Cambrian Biopharma, was trying to find some R&D talent last year when he met with more than a bit of experience in that department: David Nicholson, the former R&D chief of the erstwhile pharma giant Allergan.

It turned out Nicholson already had an interest in Peyer’s field. In their Allergan days, he and COO Brent Saunders held weekly meetups where they tried to figure out how to take the company’s dominance in aesthetics — which, until recently, was often what people meant by anti-aging science — and expertise with more traditional drug development, and use it to make drugs that extend people’s lifespan.

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An­gion's or­gan dam­age drug strikes out again, this time in high-risk kid­ney trans­plant pa­tients

After flopping a test in Covid-19 earlier this year, Angion’s lead organ damage drug has now hit the skids again in kidney transplant patients.

Angion and partner Vifor Pharma’s ANG-3777 failed to beat out placebo in terms of improving eGFR, a measure of kidney function, in patients who had received a deceased donor kidney transplant and were at high risk of developing what is known as delayed graft function, according to Phase III results released Tuesday.

(Photo courtesy Pfizer)

FDA's vac­cine ad­comm votes al­most unan­i­mous­ly in fa­vor of Pfiz­er's Covid-19 vac­cine for younger chil­dren

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Tuesday voted 17-0, with one panelist abstaining, that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine outweigh the risks for children between the ages of five and 12.

The vote will likely trigger a process that could allow the shots to begin rolling out as early as next week.

The vaccine, which is one-third of the adult Pfizer dose, proved to be about 90% effective in a placebo-controlled trial in which about 1,500 kids in this age range received the vaccine, and only about 12% of those receiving the vaccine had any adverse event. All serious adverse events in the trial were unrelated to the vaccine.

Stéphane Bancel, Moderna CEO (Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

Mod­er­na chips in fur­ther on African vac­cine sup­ply — but ad­vo­cates are call­ing for even more

In a sign of its growing commitment to the continent, Moderna will supply up to 110 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to the African Union, the company announced Tuesday. And CEO Stéphane Bancel said it’s just the first step.

“We believe our vaccine can play an important role in addressing the needs of low-income countries given its combination of high Phase 3 efficacy against COVID-19, strong durability in the real-world evidence, and superior storage and handling conditions. We recognize that access to COVID-19 vaccines continues to be a challenge in many parts of the world and we remain committed to helping to protect as many people as possible around the globe,” Bancel said in a statement.

An image of Alzheimer's brain tissue. The red show gingipains, a protein from P. gingivalis, intermixing with neurons (yellow) and glial cells (green)

An Alzheimer's dark­horse fails its first big tri­al, but of­fers hope for a long-over­looked hy­poth­e­sis

Three years ago, Cortexyme emerged out of obscurity with some big-name backers and an unorthodox approach to treating Alzheimer’s.

They moved their drug into a pivotal study the next year, offering one of the first major tests for a hypothesis that has fluttered on the outskirts of Alzheimer’s research for decades: that, in many cases, the disease is driven by infectious agents — the havoc they wreak in the brain and the inflammation the body uses to try to fend them off. And that quashing the infection could slow patients’ cognitive decline.

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