IPOs

Six biotechs crowd into Nasdaq, raising $568M as the IPO party continues to lure companies to Wall Street

Usually biotech IPOs come one or maybe two at a time. Today, we have 5 simultaneously testing investors’ appetite for risky companies that will either reward them handsomely over the long haul or … well, not. And I’m adding a 6th, from Eidos Therapeutics, that got a jump on the gang of 5 and announced their pricing late Tuesday.

Add it all up and the 6 are benefiting from a total raise of $568 million, generally pricing shares in the middle of the range — just the latest windfall to help fuel the R&D work of a steady stream of players who have been making the switch to the public markets.

The numbers are all ahead of fees as well as the buy-in from underwriters that could be ahead.

Here’s the breakout:

Jason Gardner

$MGTA, Magenta Therapeutics, Cambridge, MA: The biotech raised a cool $100 million from the sale of exactly 6,666,667 at $15 a share. Under GSK vet Jason Gardner, Magenta has been moving fast, stockpiling venture cash and hustling ahead with a compound in-licensed from Novartis. The money should pay for a pivotal trial.

Geoff MacKay

$AVRO, Avrobio, Cambridge, MA: Avrobio came in just a hair below Magenta, with a haul of $99.7 million to boast about, setting the initial price at $19. Operating under CEO Geoff MacKay, the biotech has touted an early success for Fabry disease, where their gene therapy AVR-RD-01 helped spur a patient’s plasma a-Gal A activity into the normal range. That helped with a $60 million crossover round for the Atlas-launched biotech earlier this year. There’s not a tremendous amount of data to go with yet, but gene therapy is hot right now. 

$APTX, Aptinyx, Evanston, IL: The company hit the ground running at $16 a share, raising $102.4 million. Run by CEO Norbert Riedel, Aptinyx was spun out of the $1.7 billion buyout of Naurex — with $560 million in cash — which Allergan CEO Brent Saunders wanted for its lead NMDA drug aimed at major depression. That drug is now dubbed rapastinel, which won a breakthrough drug designation at the FDA.

$KZR, Kezar Life Sciences, South San Francisco: Kezar upsized their offering a bit, going with 5 million shares at $16 for $75 million. As our Brittany Meiling reported earlier, Kezar is working on a pipeline of autoimmune drugs. Spun out of Amgen with small molecules from the plate of the former Onyx Pharmaceuticals, she writes, Kezar’s lead product is KZR-616. The drug is a selective immunoproteasome inhibitor that’s about to be tested in a Phase Ib/II trial in lupus and lupus nephritis.

$XERS, Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Chicago: The biotech raised $85.5 million at $15 per share. Kezar and Xeris filed their IPOs together, and made the leap together. Xeris has plans to launch its glucagon pen for diabetics. Their glucagon pipeline includes post-bariatric hypoglycemia and congenital hyperinsulinism.

$EIDX, Eidos Therapeutics, San Francisco: Their raise came to $106.3 million. The biotech prices at $17 and then watched the share price soar on Wednesday, rising past the $23 mark. BridgeBio chief Neil Kumar has been bullish about this particular subsidiary in the group, even though it’s up against some heavyweight players in drug development, including Alnylam, Ionis and even Pfizer. Their drug was initially advanced by Isabella Graef at Stanford and Mamoun Alhamadsheh, the company scientific co-founders, who nailed down preclinical evidence that the drug can stabilize TTR and prevent the cascade of events that causes the disease — a disease modifying approach that will now head to the clinic.


Image: Nasdaq location in Times Square, 2018 Shutterstock


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