Four biotechs and a Matthew Ro­den-led SPAC price IPOs, rais­ing a com­bined $528M

Four more biotechs and a SPAC led by Bris­tol My­ers Squibb vet Matthew Ro­den have priced IPOs, clos­ing out an­oth­er busy week on Wall Street.

To­geth­er, Prax­is Pre­ci­sion Med­i­cines, Tar­sus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Ali­gos Ther­a­peu­tics, Kiromic Bio­Phar­ma and Turmer­ic Ac­qui­si­tion — MPM’s blank check com­pa­ny — have raised $528 mil­lion on their pub­lic de­buts.

Prax­is Pre­ci­sion Med­i­cines burst out of stealth mode with $100 mil­lion in May, quick­ly sweep­ing up an­oth­er $110 mil­lion in Ju­ly. And on Thurs­day, it raised $190 mil­lion — near­ly dou­ble its orig­i­nal goal — in an up­sized IPO. The Cam­bridge, MA-based biotech $PRAX of­fered 10 mil­lion shares at $19 apiece, up from its ini­tial of­fer of 7.4 mil­lion shares at a $17 to $18 range.

Be­tween $70 to $80 mil­lion are tagged for clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment PRAX-114, the com­pa­ny’s lead CNS can­di­date. The mon­ey will fund a fu­ture Phase II/III tri­al in ma­jor de­pres­sive dis­or­der, and com­ple­tion of an on­go­ing Phase IIa. An­oth­er $30 to $40 mil­lion will go to­ward an on­go­ing Phase IIa study of PRAX-944 in es­sen­tial tremor. And $20 to $30 mil­lion should see a Phase I tri­al of PRAX-562 — Prax­is’ can­di­date for rare CNS dis­or­ders like se­vere pe­di­atric epilep­sy and adult cephal­gia — through com­ple­tion.

Since its launch, Prax­is has burned through more than $104 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the S-1/A. Black­stone holds 23.1% of the shares, fol­lowed by Even­tide with 9.4%, Vi­da Ven­tures with 7.3%, and No­vo Hold­ings with 6.6%.

“We ex­pect mul­ti­ple topline clin­i­cal tri­al read­outs from our three clin­i­cal-stage prod­uct can­di­dates pri­or to the end of 2021 and an­tic­i­pate the launch of a new clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment pro­gram in 2021,” the S-1/A states.

Tar­sus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals al­so came in slight­ly above its ini­tial goal, rais­ing $88 mil­lion by pric­ing 5.5 mil­lion shares at $16 apiece. The Irvine, CA-based biotech $TARS filed for an $86 mil­lion IPO on Sept 25. It up­sized its of­fer by 575,000 shares, ac­cord­ing to an SEC fil­ing.

A ma­jor­i­ty of the pro­ceeds — about $65 mil­lion — will be poured in­to the com­pa­ny’s lead oph­thalmic can­di­date TP-03. The drug is cur­rent­ly in a Phase IIb/III tri­al for De­mod­ex ble­phar­i­tis, a con­di­tion char­ac­ter­ized by eye in­flam­ma­tion and caused by the in­fes­ta­tion of mites. Tar­sus ex­pects a Phase III launch in 2021. The re­main­ing funds may go to the biotech’s oth­er can­di­dates, TP-04 and TP-05, which it plans to en­ter in Phase I/II tri­als for rosacea and Ly­me dis­ease in 2021, re­spec­tive­ly.

Bobak Aza­mi­an

Since its found­ing in 2017, Tar­sus has spent a to­tal of $11.2 mil­lion. Vi­vo Cap­i­tal holds 15.77% of shares, while CEO Bobak Aza­mi­an has a 9.7% piece of the pie.

Ali­gos Ther­a­peu­tics $AL­GS filed for a $100 mil­lion IPO back in Sep­tem­ber to de­vel­op its chron­ic he­pati­tis B (CHB) and NASH ther­a­pies. Now the South San Fran­cis­co, CA-based biotech is rak­ing in $150 mil­lion through 10 mil­lion shares priced at $15 apiece, the mid­point of a $14 to $16 range.

About $40 to $43 mil­lion will go to­ward the com­pa­ny’s Phase I STOPS can­di­date ALG-010133, short for S-anti­gen trans­port-in­hibit­ing oligonu­cleotide poly­mer. An­oth­er $35 mil­lion to $38 mil­lion will fund an up­com­ing Phase I tri­al of its CAM (cap­sid as­sem­bly mod­u­la­tor) can­di­date ALG-000184. Twelve to $14 mil­lion will go to the NASH THR-b can­di­date ALG-055009. And Ali­gos ear­marked $12 to $15 mil­lion and $12 to $14 mil­lion for its CHB can­di­dates ALG-020572 and ALG-125097, re­spec­tive­ly.

The two-year-old biotech has spent $107 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to its S-1/A. CEO Lawrence Blatt, for­mer head of in­fec­tious dis­ease at Janssen, holds 6.2% of shares. Roche Fi­nance, Ver­sant Ven­tures and Bak­er Broth­ers Ad­vi­sors each have 8.4% of the stock, fol­lowed by Vi­vo with 8.1%, No­vo with 6.6% and Welling­ton Man­age­ment with 5.2%.

Turmer­ic Ac­qui­si­tion, a blank check com­pa­ny formed by MPM Cap­i­tal, end­ed up down­siz­ing its of­fer from 10 mil­lion units to 8.5 mil­lion. The SPAC priced units at $10 each, rais­ing $85 mil­lion.

Matthew Ro­den

The com­pa­ny $TMP­MU is run by CEO Luke Evnin, who co-found­ed MPM Cap­i­tal in 1997, and chair­man Ro­den, who had a hand in Bris­tol My­ers Squibbs’ Cel­gene buy­out be­fore re­cent­ly join­ing MPM.

The duo — along­side the rest of the firm — now has two years to se­lect the pri­vate com­pa­ny to ride the shell of Turmer­ic to Nas­daq and in­her­it the in­vest­ment.

“We have not se­lect­ed any busi­ness com­bi­na­tion tar­get and we have not, nor has any­one on our be­half, ini­ti­at­ed any sub­stan­tive dis­cus­sions, di­rect­ly or in­di­rect­ly, with any busi­ness com­bi­na­tion tar­get,” the SPAC’s S-1/A states.

Kiromic Bio­Phar­ma $KRBP priced its shares at $12 apiece on Fri­day — the low end of its $12 to $14 range. The Hous­ton, TX-based biotech of­fered 1.3 mil­lion shares, rais­ing $15 mil­lion. The com­pa­ny is us­ing AI to de­vel­op can­cer ther­a­pies, and says the IPO funds will push its Alex­is iso­form mesothe­lin (for EOC) and PD-1 can­di­dates in­to the clin­ic.

By the end of last month, 56 biotechs had filed for IPOs this year — top­ping Brad Lon­car’s count of 47 last year. Both SQZ Biotech and Lux Health Tech Ac­qui­si­tion, a SPAC formed by Lux Cap­i­tal, filed to go pub­lic on Mon­day. SQZ pro­posed a $75 mil­lion raise to de­vel­op its cell ther­a­pies, while Lux is look­ing to nab $300 mil­lion. On Tues­day, Co­di­ak’s shares priced in at $15 apiece, net­ting $83 mil­lion.

How Pa­tients with Epilep­sy Ben­e­fit from Re­al-World Da­ta

Amanda Shields, Principal Data Scientist, Scientific Data Steward

Keith Wenzel, Senior Business Operations Director

Andy Wilson, Scientific Lead

Real-world data (RWD) has the potential to transform the drug development industry’s efforts to predict and treat seizures for patients with epilepsy. Anticipating or controlling an impending seizure can significantly increase quality of life for patients with epilepsy. However, because RWD is secondary data originally collected for other purposes, the challenge is selecting, harmonizing, and analyzing the data from multiple sources in a way that helps support patients.

$DNA is once again on NYSE; FDA clears Soliris chal­lenger for the mar­ket; Flag­ship’s think­ing big again with eR­NA; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

I still remember the uncertainty in the air last year when nobody was sure whether ASCO would cancel their in-person meeting. But it’s now back again for the second virtual conference, and Endpoints News is here for it. Check out our 2-day event reviewing the landscape of cancer R&D and send news our way.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 105,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Michael Dell (Richard Drew, AP Images)

'Dude, you're get­ting a Del­l' — as a new deep-pock­et biotech in­vestor

What happens when you marry longtime insiders in the global biotech VC game with the family fund of tech billionaire Michael Dell, a synthetic biology legend out of MIT and Harvard and the former director of the NCI?

Today, the answer is a newly financed, $200 million biotech SPAC now cruising the industry for a top player interested in finding a short cut to Nasdaq.

Orion Biotech Opportunities priced their blank check company today, raising $200 million with Dell’s multibillion-dollar MSD group’s commitment on investing another $20 million in a forward-purchase agreement.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

Re­gen­eron's Evkeeza shows promise in curb­ing high triglyc­erides, but will ge­net­ic dis­par­i­ties lim­it use?

When Regeneron scored an early approval for lipid lowering antibody Evkeeza back in February, the drugmaker cracked open a new pathway to lower abnormally high cholesterol levels. Now, Regeneron is chasing high triglycerides as well with some promising mid-stage data — but will genetic restrictions limit the drug’s use?

Regeneron’s Evkeeza (evinacumab) cut median triglyceride levels by more than 800 mg/dL (57%) in patients with a rare disorder causing abnormally high triglyceride levels compared with an overall increase of 50 mg/dL (1.8%) in participants on placebo, according to Phase II data presented Sunday at the virtual American College of Cardiology meeting.

As­traZeneca's Farx­i­ga missed big on Covid-19 study, but it's tak­ing SGLT2 safe­ty da­ta as a sil­ver lin­ing

AstraZeneca hasn’t seen many setbacks in recent months for SGLT2 inhibitor Farxiga, which broke ground in heart failure and kidney disease regardless of diabetes diagnosis. But the British drugmaker had to admit defeat in taking Farxiga into Covid-19, but follow-up results add a bit of a silver lining to that trial’s safety data.

Of hospitalized Covid-19 patients dosed with AstraZeneca’s Farxiga, 11.2% experienced an organ failure or died after 30 days of therapy compared with 13.8% of those given placebo, according to follow-up data from the DARE-19 study revealed Sunday at the virtual American College of Cardiology meeting.

Pfiz­er, Bris­tol My­er­s' Eliquis flops in post-heart surgery pa­tients, spurring an 'un­ex­plained sig­nal' in cer­tain deaths

Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb’s non-warfarin blood thinner Eliquis has raced out to become the most prescribed drug of its class on the market — even overtaking warfarin’s long-time lead. But in tricky-to-treat patients after a valve replacement, an investigator-sponsored study couldn’t turn up benefit and raised a troubling safety signal.

Eliquis failed to show benefit over standard of care in preventing serious clinical outcomes after a transaortic valve replacement (TAVR) and was linked to an “unexplained signal” in a subset of populations with a higher rate of non-CV deaths who did not need blood thinners apart from the surgery, according to data presented Saturday at the virtual American College of Cardiology meeting.

Vas Narasimhan (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

No­var­tis whiffs on En­tresto study af­ter heart at­tacks — but that does­n't mean it's go­ing down qui­et­ly

If Novartis learned one thing from its interaction with the FDA over its latest heart failure approval for Entresto, it was that missing a primary endpoint may not be the nail in the coffin. Now, Entresto has missed again on a late-stage study in high-risk heart patients, and it’s already sowing the seeds for a path forward regardless.

Novartis’ Entresto couldn’t best standard-of-care ramipril in staving off a composite of deaths and heart failure events in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction and/or pulmonary congestion who have had a prior heart attack, according to topline data from the Phase III PARADISE-MI study revealed Saturday at the virtual American College of Cardiology meeting.

Gene ther­a­py from Bio­gen's $800M buy­out flops in mid-stage study, deal­ing blow to new am­bi­tions

The #2 candidate from Biogen’s $800 million ocular gene therapy buyout has failed in a mid-stage trial, dealing an early blow to the big biotech’s plans to revitalize its pipeline with new technologies.

Biogen announced that the candidate, an experimental treatment for a rare and progressive form of blindness called X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), failed to sufficiently improve vision in patients’ treated eye — patients only received an injection in one eye — after a year, on a standard scale, compared to their untreated eye. The company said they saw “positive trends” on several secondary endpoints, including visual acuity, but declined to say whether the trial actually hit any of those endpoints.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 105,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Abbie Celniker (L) and Rob Sims (Flare)

A Third Rock-backed play­er charts a new course against tran­scrip­tion fac­tors. Do 'switch sites' hold the mag­ic sauce?

Long known for their role in guiding gene expression but considered “undruggable,” DNA binding transcription factors have long been a Holy Grail for drug developers. Now, a new startup from Third Rock Ventures thinks it could have the juice to get after transcription factors once and for all — and it all started with a “flare” of inspiration from an article out of an Oxford lab.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 105,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.