Fresh from $102M haul, IGM Bio pitch­es $100M IPO as it plots first-in-hu­man tri­al of new an­ti­bod­ies

IGM Bio­sciences is the lat­est pre­clin­i­cal biotech to shoot for a Nas­daq list­ing, pitch­ing a $100 mil­lion IPO on its unique class of can­cer-fight­ing an­ti­bod­ies.

Just as much as its tech­nol­o­gy and clin­i­cal plans the SEC fil­ing of­fers a win­dow in­to the biotech’s lit­tle known his­to­ry, high­light­ing the role that a Dan­ish chem­i­cal com­pa­ny played.

Fred Schwarz­er IGM

The com­pa­ny now known as IGM Bio­sciences — with head­quar­ters in Moun­tain View, CA — was first born in 1993 with the name of Palin­gen, it wrote. It had been fo­cused on re­search­ing nat­u­ral­ly oc­cur­ring IgM an­ti­bod­ies un­til 2010, when Hal­dor Top­søe Hold­ings came in with an eq­ui­ty in­vest­ment spurring a name change and a piv­ot to en­gi­neer­ing new an­ti­bod­ies that har­ness IgM’s 10 bind­ing do­mains, com­pared to 2 for tra­di­tion­al IgG.

Hal­dor Top­søe, a sto­ried com­pa­ny fo­cused on catal­y­sis, re­mains by far the largest stock­hold­er ahead of the pub­lic de­but; Janus Cap­i­tal, which came on board dur­ing the re­cent $102 mil­lion Se­ries C, holds bare­ly one-tenth of their shares. While Bak­er Bros and Red­mile Group each con­trol more shares than Janus, theirs is non-vot­ing com­mon stock.

Dan Chen IGM

With long­time VC Fred Schwarz­er at the helm and Roche/Genen­tech vets Bruce Keyt and Dan Chen as CSO and CMO, re­spec­tive­ly, IGM is first pur­su­ing a bis­pe­cif­ic T cell en­gager tar­get­ing CD20 on can­cer cells and CD3 on T cells. Ini­tial dos­ing of the drug, IGM-2323, in pa­tients with re­lapsed/re­frac­to­ry B cell non-Hodgkin’s lym­phoma is planned for lat­er in 2019.

Ex­ecs are al­so hope­ful about even­tu­al­ly ex­pand­ing to oth­er hema­to­log­ic ma­lig­nan­cies ex­press­ing CD20, such as chron­ic lym­pho­cyt­ic leukemia as well as treat­ment-naïve lym­phoma.

From the S-1:

In our in vit­ro stud­ies, IgM an­ti­bod­ies bind anti­gens with high avid­i­ty that re­sults in the IgM an­ti­body re­main­ing at­tached to the tar­get for longer pe­ri­ods of time than an IgG an­ti­body. We be­lieve that this durable bind­ing prop­er­ty will trans­late to an in­creased res­i­dence time on can­cer cells and will in­crease the chance that a T cell will find and kill the can­cer cell while the T cell en­gager is bound to the can­cer cell.

Bruce Keyt

IGM is vy­ing for the lead­ing po­si­tion in the red hot field of bis­pecifics and it knows it. Just in the CD20 realm, it lists heavy­weights Re­gen­eron, Gen­mab, Xen­cor and Roche/Genen­tech as com­peti­tors.

“The thing that re­al­ly hooked me was the longterm fu­ture,” Chen, who was cred­it­ed for lead­ing the Tecen­triq pro­gram at Roche, told End­points News when he made the move last Au­gust.

His com­pen­sa­tion pack­age for those four months in 2018 added up to $715, 638, in­clud­ing over $500,000 in stock and op­tion awards, while Schwarz­er bagged $519,214 in­clud­ing op­tion awards and Keyt re­ceived $353,333 just in salary.

Next up in the pipeline is an IgM an­ti­body di­rect­ed to death re­cep­tor 5 (DR5) pro­teins, a mem­ber of the TN­FrSF fam­i­ly no­to­ri­ous for the need of bind­ing in clus­ters of at least three — which IgG is un­able to do due to its bi­va­lent na­ture. IGM not­ed that Ab­b­Vie, In­hi­bRx, Gen­mab and Boehringer In­gel­heim all have pro­grams in the space.

Part of the pro­ceeds will go to­ward en­abling an IND for this un­named pro­gram next year, while some will be al­lo­cat­ed to the build-out of new man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties to sup­ply their own clin­i­cal and, ul­ti­mate­ly, com­mer­cial ma­te­r­i­al.

A fa­vorite in Alex­ion’s C-suite is leav­ing, and some mighty sur­prised an­a­lysts aren’t the least bit hap­py about it

Analysts hate to lose a biotech CFO they’ve come to trust and admire — especially if they’re being blindsided by a surprise exit.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 59,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

While No­var­tis ban­ish­es Zol­gens­ma scan­dal scars — Bio­gen goes on a Spin­raza 'of­fen­sive'

While Novartis painstakingly works to mop up the stench of the data manipulation scandal associated with its expensive gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Zolgensma— rival Biogen is attempting to expand the use of its SMA therapy, Spinraza. 

The US drugmaker $BIIB secured US approval for Spinraza for use in the often fatal genetic disease in 2016. The approval covered a broad range of patients with infantile-onset (most likely to develop Type 1) SMA. 

Jason Kelly. Mike Blake/Reuters via Adobe

Eye­ing big ther­a­peu­tic push, Gink­go bags $290M to build a cell pro­gram­ming em­pire

Ginkgo Bioworks is on a roll. Days after publicizing a plan to nurture new startups via partnerships with accelerators Y Combinator and Petri, the Boston biotech says it has raised another $290 million for its cell programming platform to reach further and wider.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 59,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

UP­DAT­ED: Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi to un­veil bill for fed­er­al­ly ne­go­ti­at­ed drug prices

After months of buzz from both sides of the aisle, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will today introduce her plan to allow the federal government to negotiate prices for 250 prescription drugs, setting up a showdown with a pharmaceutical industry working overtime to prevent it.

The need to limit drug prices is a rare point of agreement between President Trump and Democrats, although the president has yet to comment on the proposal and will likely face pressure to back a more conservative option or no bill at all. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is reportedly lobbying his fellow party members on a more modest proposal he negotiated with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden in July.

Jeff Kindler's Cen­trex­ion re­news bid to make pub­lic de­but

Jeffrey Kindler’s plan to take his biotech — which is developing a slate of non-opioid painkillers — public, is back on.

The Boston based company, led by former Pfizer $PFE chief Kindler, originally contemplated a $70 million to $80 million IPO last year— but eventually postponed that strategy. On Wednesday, the company revived its bid to make a public debut in a filing with the SEC — although no pricing details were disclosed.

Zachary Hornby. Boundless

'A fourth rev­o­lu­tion in can­cer ther­a­pies': ARCH-backed Bound­less Bio flash­es big check, makes big­ger promis­es in de­but

It was the cellular equivalent of opening your car door and finding an active, roaring engine in the driver seat.

Scientists learned strands of DNA could occasionally appear outside of its traditional home in the nucleus in the 1970s, when they appeared as little, innocuous circles on microscopes; inexplicable but apparently innate. But not until UC San Diego’s Paul Mischel published his first study in Science in 2014 did researchers realize these circles were not only active but potentially overactive and driving some cancer tumors’ superhuman growth.

David Grainger [file photo]

'Dis­con­nect the bas­tard­s' — one biotech's plan to break can­cer cell­s' uni­fied de­fens­es

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the current gladiators of cancer treatment, but they come with well-known limitations and side-effects. The emergence of immunotherapy — a ferocious new titan in oncologist’s toolbox — takes the brakes off the immune system to kill cancer cells with remarkable success in some cases, but the approach is not always effective. What makes certain forms of cancer so resilient? Scientists may have finally pieced together a tantalizing piece of the puzzle, and a new biotech is banking on a new approach to fill the gap.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 59,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

It’s fi­nal­ly over: Bio­gen, Ei­sai scrap big Alzheimer’s PhI­I­Is af­ter a pre­dictable BACE cat­a­stro­phe rais­es safe­ty fears

Months after analysts and investors called on Biogen and Eisai to scrap their BACE drug for Alzheimer’s and move on in the wake of a string of late-stage failures and rising safety fears, the partners have called it quits. And they said they were dropping the drug — elenbecestat — after the independent monitoring board raised concerns about…safety.

We don’t know exactly what researchers found in this latest catastrophe, but the companies noted in their release that investigators had determined that the drug was flunking the risk/benefit analysis.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 59,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Mer­ck helps bankroll new part­ner Themis' game plan to fin­ish the chikun­gun­ya race and be­gin on­colyt­ic virus quest

As Themis gears up for a Phase III trial of its chikungunya vaccine, the Vienna-based biotech has closed out €40 million ($44 million) to foot the clinical and manufacturing bills.

Its heavyweight partners at Merck — which signed a pact around a mysterious “blockbuster indication” last month — jumped into the Series D, led by new investors Farallon Capital and Hadean Ventures. Adjuvant Capital also joined, as did current investors Global Health Investment Fund, aws Gruenderfonds, Omnes Capital, Ventech and Wellington Partners Life Sciences.