Ed Kaye is taking his fledgling biotech to Wall Street, looking for a new injection of cash
Ed Kaye should soon be back to running a public biotech.
The Stoke Therapeutics CEO, who cut short a brief break after his exit from Sarepta to run the fledgling startup and unveil a lean $40 million launch round primarily from Apple Tree Partners, has steered an S-1 to the SEC. And he’s penciled in a $86 million raise, looking for Wall Street to fund their last steps through preclinical work on a lead program.
The plan is to take the lab work they’ve been doing based on Adrian Krainer’s investigations at Cold Spring Harbor and make that into an IND next year and start testing it in humans for autosomal dominant diseases like Dravet syndrome — their first target.
Krainer, an RNA splicing expert who played a key role in the discovery of Spinraza, had been studying the body’s machinery for making proteins and a method using antisense oligonucleotides to increase protein expression. Adding a bioinformatics approach, the fledgling company was able to identify key diseases driven by missing protein — and now they’re out to use the tech to address diseases that seem outside the realm of such technologies as gene editing or gene therapy.
One of the big driving forces behind the startup is Seth Harrison, the managing partner at Apple Tree. The venture group currently controls 65% of the equity and Harrison sits on the board. Krainer has 1.8% of the shares while Kaye grabbed a 1.5% slice of the stock, so far.
The move to the public market comes amid a new surge of biotech IPOs, which are currently on pace to match the 32 registered for all of last year. While not everyone is enjoying great success at rolling out these IPOs, there is still a large appetite for this kind of risk, with investors betting on some very early-stage science.
The biotech plans to trade using the $STOK symbol.
Image: Stoke Therapeutics