With its lead “monoclonal microbial” about to be tested for the first time on a human, Evelo Biosciences believes that this is the right time to float a $100 million IPO.
Launched with $85.4 million raised from the sale of stock to Flagship and a loan from Pacific Western Bank, Evelo recently added a $47.5 million Series C to the coffers in February and then added $34 million more last month, according to the S-1 filing. Altogether that tots up to $167 million. And as of the end of last year the Cambridge, MA-based biotech under the guidance of CEO Simba Gill had burned through $56.4 million.
The science at Evelo focused on the intersection of the gut and body; specifically how the gut operates in directing the immune system. By designing the right microbial strains that operate in the gut, Evelo’s scientists believe that they can up-regulate the immune system to go after, say, cancer, or down-regulate it to prevent inflammatory diseases like psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
The biotech lists a total of 10 programs in its S-1 pipeline outline, including colorectal and renal cell carcinoma among its four cancer targets.
That kind of high-risk preclinical operation has been in and out of favor in biotech. But with venture cash pumping and the IPO window open, Gill’s crew and Flagship backers, led by Noubar Afeyan, are betting that they can sell it.
The S-1 isn’t complete, leaving its breakdown of investors empty. But the company has been backed by Google’s GV, Celgene, Mayo Clinic and Alexandria Venture.
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