Despite bruising market, two biotechs price their IPOs while another launches its Nasdaq bid
The current market situation for biotechs is certainly not ideal, but that is not deterring a few companies from diving into the waters of Wall Street.
Two companies, Boston-based HilleVax and San Diego-based Belite Bio, will make their Nasdaq debuts Friday, while another biotech that has some familiar names attached filed for an IPO.
After filing earlier this month HilleVax grabs more than $150M
HilleVax, a norovirus vaccine developer spun out from Takeda by late biotech legend Tachi Yamada, went public on the back of a $150 million-plus debut and priced its IPO at $17 per share.
HilleVax is a little over 10 months from being spun out of Takeda and has backing from Frazier Healthcare Partners. The startup launched with a norovirus vaccine candidate that had already completed several Phase I and Phase II trials.
The biotech also estimates that the net proceeds from the offering will be approximately $200 million on the base deal.
According to the S-1/A, there are several purposes for the IPO. HilleVax says it intends to use approximately $125 million of the proceeds to fund the clinical development of the HIL-214 norovirus vaccine candidate, but acknowledged the net proceeds will not be enough to complete development and will eventually require more capital.
However, HilleVax says it may also use a portion of the remaining net proceeds to in-license, acquire or invest in complementary assets, but there are no current agreements to do so. With HilleVax’s current operating plan, it believes its existing cash, together with the estimated net proceeds from the offering, will be sufficient to meet its anticipated cash requirements through at least the next 24 months.
After the stock debuts, Frazier Life Sciences will hold 22.4% of shares, with Takeda Vaccines, Inc. holding 18.6% and Yamada’s estate netting 2.6%.
Belite Bio nets $30 million-plus as it continues rapid motion
Belite Bio is offering shares at $6 apiece as it makes an eight-figure debut Friday.
The company is developing an eye disease program, dubbed LBS-008, with a Phase III trial that launched in the first quarter. The company is testing it in both dry AMD and Stargardt disease, with the pivotal study examining adolescents who suffer from the latter condition. Its candidate is an oral once-a-day treatment designed to reduce and maintain the delivery of vitamin A to the eye.
According to the F-1, Belite Bio estimates that it will receive net proceeds of $32.2 million, or approximately $37.2 million if the underwriters exercise their options. Lin Bioscience International, the biotech’s principal shareholder, agreed to purchase $15 million worth of shares in the offering, Belite Bio said.
The company plans to use 2.5% of the net proceeds for the Phase III clinical trial of LBS-008 for STGD1, and 68.2% for further clinical development of LBS-008 for dry AMD. The remainder will be for working capital and other general uses.
Belite Bio hopes the offering will enable it to complete its ongoing Phase II and Phase III clinical trials in both dry AMD and Stargardt disease, the F-1 states.
Chairman and CEO Yu-Hsin Lin will have 11.5% of the stock, with CFO Hao-Yuan Chuang holding 2.21%. Lin Bioscience will hold 68.1%.
A company files its IPO and plans to resurrect a medicine with a checkered past
Hemoglobin Oxygen Therapeutics LLC is planning to raise $30 million, according to its S-1. The company is based in Souderton, PA and plans to produce hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs), or human blood substitutes, for human and veterinary use.
Their products, called Hemopure for humans and Oxyglobin for animals, were acquired from OPK Biotech in 2014, which in turn had previously purchased them from Biopure in 2009. Hemoglobin Oxygen Therapeutics’ immediate focus is to relaunch Hemopure and Oxyglobin under approved indications in jurisdictions where they already have marketing authorizations.
According to STAT News, Biopure was sued by the SEC after regulators accused the company of misleading investors about its Hemopure product. A former executive at Biopure was sentenced for lying to a federal judge and staging a fake cancer diagnosis to avoid being questioned.
The filing states that they intend to use $20 million toward the reassembly of the company’s facility in Souderton with the remaining proceeds for general corporate expenses. The company says the funds won’t be enough to fully complete the relaunch of the products, and will require approximately $15 million more to complete this process.
“We will need to seek such additional funds through public or private equity or debt financings or other sources, such as strategic collaborations or license and development agreements. If we do not successfully raise such monies, the facility cannot be completed, and we will be unable to produce and commercially distribute any product,” the F-1 filing said.