From pro­tein degra­da­tion to 'toad ven­om': An­oth­er five biotechs will make the Nas­daq shuf­fle af­ter fil­ing SEC pa­per­work

Ed­i­tor’s note: In­ter­est­ed in fol­low­ing bio­phar­ma’s fast-paced IPO mar­ket? You can book­mark our IPO Track­er here.

Fri­day proved to be an­oth­er busy day for biotech IPOs, with five more com­pa­nies fil­ing their S-1s and F-1s with the SEC ahead of ex­pect­ed jumps to Nas­daq.

Four biotechs pen­ciled in ini­tial es­ti­mates of $100 mil­lion rais­es: pro­tein-degra­da­tion play­er Monte Rosa, gene edit­ing biotech Graphite Bio, “toad ven­om”-fo­cused GH Re­search and mon­o­clon­al an­ti­body de­vel­op­er El­e­va­tion On­col­o­gy. The fifth com­pa­ny, reagents provider Al­pha Tekno­va, es­ti­mates at least $75 mil­lion with their raise.

The to­tal num­ber of biotechs to file or price their IPOs this year has now reached 65, ac­cord­ing to the End­points News tal­ly.

Al­so ear­ly on Mon­day, Janux Ther­a­peu­tics set its IPO terms for an es­ti­mat­ed $152 mil­lion raise by of­fer­ing 9.5 mil­lion shares in the $15 to $17 range. It’s ex­pect­ed to price by the end of this week, ac­cord­ing to Re­nais­sance Cap­i­tal.

Here’s a look at the lat­est biotechs do­ing the Nas­daq shuf­fle.

Al­most at the clin­ic, Monte Rosa preps its IPO

Since last Sep­tem­ber, Monte Rosa has pulled in two fundrais­ing rounds of $96 mil­lion and $95 mil­lion apiece. That mo­men­tum is lead­ing them to­ward the next step of be­com­ing a pub­lic com­pa­ny.

Their plat­form re­volves around de­vel­op­ing “mol­e­c­u­lar glues” that can re­pro­gram the ubiq­ui­tin lig­as­es cen­tral to pro­tein degra­da­tion, a field that’s been pro­duc­ing tons of buzz among in­vestors over the last cou­ple years. The re­sult­ing can­di­dates are dif­fer­ent from oth­er small mol­e­cule de­graders, such as PRO­TAC, that work more like in­hibitors.

Monte Rosa doesn’t have any clin­i­cal pro­grams just yet, but they’ve been plan­ning IND stud­ies for their lead can­di­date by the end of this month. The ex­per­i­men­tal drug will tar­get GSPT1, a reg­u­la­to­ry pro­tein im­pli­cat­ed in the syn­thet­ic lethal­i­ty of sol­id tu­mor cells.

With­in its S-1, Monte Rosa stayed silent over ex­act­ly how far it ex­pects to bring this pro­gram, on­ly di­vulging that some of the cash will be di­rect­ed to­ward it. The rest of the mon­ey will help fund fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the plat­form and oth­er pre­clin­i­cal pro­grams.

Once it goes pub­lic, Monte Rosa plans to list un­der the tick­er $GLUE.

Ver­sant-backed Graphite pen­cils in a $100 mil­lion raise

Graphite came out of a part­ner­ship from Ver­sant and Stan­ford gene ther­a­py ex­perts, first get­ting things start­ed back in Sep­tem­ber 2020 with a $45 mil­lion round.

Matthew Por­teus

Now they’re ready to make the pub­lic leap less than a year lat­er, ex­pect­ing to launch their first clin­i­cal tri­al by the end of 2021 in sick­le cell dis­ease. The plat­form comes from Matthew Por­teus, an aca­d­e­m­ic founder of CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics, who is work­ing along­side gene ther­a­py ex­pert Maria Grazia Ron­car­o­lo.

Draw­ing from re­search work led by Dan­ny De­v­er while a post­doc at Por­teus’ lab, Graphite’s big promise is to in­crease in­te­gra­tion ef­fi­cien­cy from less than 1% to greater than 50% “across di­verse ge­net­ic le­sions in a wide range of cell types.” The trio each serve as the co-aca­d­e­m­ic founders at Graphite.

Maria Grazia Ron­car­o­lo

The biotech has since built up its pipeline in­to three pro­grams, with can­di­dates for X-linked se­vere com­bined im­mune de­fi­cien­cy and Gauch­er dis­ease on top of the sick­le cell lead. All three are ex­pect­ed to be fun­neled cash with the IPO, and the two fol­low-up pro­grams are still in IND-en­abling stud­ies.

Graphite plans to list un­der the tick­er $GRPH af­ter its de­but.

Toad-al­ly rad­i­cal: RA’s psy­che­del­ic wa­ger keeps on truck­ing

The psy­che­delics space con­tin­ues to see heavy in­vestor in­ter­est, and RA Cap­i­tal backed GH Re­search just two months ago with a nine-fig­ure round. GH is tak­ing its pro­grams pub­lic now, with a lead in­halant cen­tered around the sub­stance col­lo­qui­al­ly known as “toad ven­om.”

Though the drug’s sci­en­tif­ic name is a mouth­ful — 5-Methoxy-N, N-di­methyl­trypt­a­mine is the of­fi­cial name — it picked up the toad ven­om nick­name due to its pres­ence in a cer­tain toad species na­tive to the south­west­ern US and north­west­ern Mex­i­co. The psy­che­del­ic saw a rapid rise in recre­ation­al use in the mid-2010s, per a VICE News re­port, as in­di­vid­u­als at­tempt­ed to achieve the ‘ego death’ phe­nom­e­non.

GH is start­ing with treat­ment-re­sis­tant de­pres­sion and has two oth­er undis­closed in­di­ca­tions on tap. The DMT in­halant, dubbed GH001, is cur­rent­ly be­ing stud­ied in the Phase II por­tion of a Phase I/II clin­i­cal tri­al.

The Dublin-based biotech is al­so work­ing on an in­jectable for­mu­la­tion of the drug. GH’s IPO raise is ex­pect­ed to help de­vel­op both of these can­di­dates, with a Phase IIb study planned for GH001 and a Phase IIa tri­al to like­ly be set up for the oth­er can­di­date.

GH Re­search will list un­der the tick­er $GHRS once it goes pub­lic.

A for­mer Mer­ri­mack pro­gram gets a Nas­daq chance

El­e­va­tion On­col­o­gy has spent its time try­ing to re­vamp Mer­ri­mack’s high-pro­file serib­an­tum­ab pro­gram in­to some­thing that can treat sol­id tu­mors with the rare NRG1 ge­nom­ic fu­sion.

Af­ter flop­ping in NSCLC, serib­an­tum­ab was ac­quired by El­e­va­tion back in 2019 for up to $58 mil­lion. The drug can­di­date is a mon­o­clon­al an­ti­body that binds to HER3 and was one in a long string of clin­i­cal busts for Mer­ri­mack, ul­ti­mate­ly re­sult­ing in the biotech sell­ing sev­er­al as­sets and lay­ing off all its staff and ex­ec­u­tives.

El­e­va­tion launched in Ju­ly 2020 and quick­ly added a $65 mil­lion Se­ries B round to com­plete en­roll­ment in a Phase II study. Their S-1 was scant on de­tails over how far El­e­va­tion wants to take the pro­gram with its raise.

When it goes pub­lic, El­e­va­tion plans to list un­der the tick­er $ELEV.

Reagents provider Al­pha Tekno­va will make its pub­lic jump 

Al­pha Tekno­va has been around since 2000, but now it’s go­ing pub­lic on the backs of its reagents. The Hol­lis­ter, CA-based com­pa­ny says it has about 3,000 cus­tomers span­ning the en­tire life sci­ences mar­ket, in­clud­ing biotechs, larg­er phar­ma com­pa­nies and CROs.

Al­pha Tekno­va of­fers three prod­ucts: pre-poured me­dia plates for cell growth and cloning, liq­uid cell cul­ture me­dia and sup­ple­ments for cel­lu­lar ex­pan­sion, and mol­e­c­u­lar bi­ol­o­gy reagents for sam­ple ma­nip­u­la­tion, re­sus­pen­sion and pu­rifi­ca­tion.

Funds from the IPO will large­ly go to­ward up­ping man­u­fac­tur­ing and im­prov­ing ef­fi­cien­cy, though Al­pha Tekno­va said it couldn’t quan­ti­fy ex­act­ly how much. Once it goes pub­lic, the com­pa­ny plans to list un­der the tick­er $TKNO.

Un­lock­ing ESG strate­gies for growth with Gilead Sci­ences

RBC Capital Markets explores what is material in ESG for biopharma companies with the ESG leads at Gilead Sciences. Gilead has long focused on sustainability but recognized a more robust framework was needed. Based on a materiality assessment, Gilead’s ESG strategy today focuses first on drug access and pricing, while also addressing D&I and climate change. Find out why Gilead’s board is “acutely aware” of the contribution that ESG makes to firm’s overall success.

On the hunt for the next Mod­er­na, in­vestors have pumped 'plat­form plays' with cash. Can any­thing slow the run­away train?

It didn’t take an expert to see that mRNA platforms could be huge.

Julie Sunderland partnered with both Moderna and BioNTech about a decade ago while she was running program-related investments for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and even then the potential for their platforms was obvious despite some well-founded concerns about whether the next-gen tech would ever cross the finish line.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

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

Neu­rona Ther­a­peu­tics is dash­ing to the clin­ic with its cell ther­a­py for epilep­sy — but first, an­oth­er ven­ture round

Six years ago, a band of neuroscientists from the University of California, San Francisco combined decades of research and jumped into the hunt for an off-the-shelf cell therapy. Now, that team is sprinting toward the clinic with a treatment for epilepsy — but first, it’s making a pit stop at the venture well.

Neurona Therapeutics unveiled a $41.5 million round on Tuesday morning, bringing the San Francisco-based biotech’s total raise to $135 million. The cash will be used to advance the company’s pipeline, including an upcoming Phase I/IIa for its lead candidate, NRTX-1001, in chronic focal epilepsy.

Viswa Colluru, Enveda Biosciences

A Re­cur­sion vet­er­an is map­ping plant life to chart a course to new ther­a­pies — and in­vestors like what they see

One of the earliest employees at AI biotech Recursion Pharmaceuticals is leading a new company, and he’s just closed a hefty Series A to get things moving.

Enveda Biosciences pulled in $51 million in the raise, the company announced Tuesday morning, with the goal of pushing some of its preclinical programs further along. Led by CEO Viswa Colluru, Enveda aims to research how machine learning can utilize natural biology to create new therapies for Wilson’s Disease, NASH and Parkinson’s disease, among others.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) with reporters in the Senate Subway (Graeme Sloan/Sipa via AP Images)

Top Wyden pri­or­i­ty for drug price re­forms: Medicare ne­go­ti­a­tions

As the Biden administration tries to wrangle the details of its infrastructure bill, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) took a concrete step forward on drug pricing reforms on Tuesday and unveiled five principles for such reforms, including providing Medicare with the ability to negotiate prices.

“Allowing the Secretary of HHS to negotiate the price Medicare will pay creates a much needed mechanism to achieve fairer prices when the market has failed to do so,” Wyden wrote.

End­points News is now 5 years old. Here's how you can sup­port us for the next phase of growth

Endpoints News turned five years old over the weekend. I wanted to mark the happy occasion by extending our deepest gratitude to Endpoints’ premium subscribers while outlining several other ways to support us as we go broader and get bigger this year and beyond.

Same as any business, we’ve got to create value and get paid for delivering it. So if you depend on Endpoints to stay abreast on biopharma developments, we depend on you too.

Emma Walmsley, GlaxoSmithKline CEO (Credit: Fang Zhe/Xinhua/Alamy Live News)

Ac­tivist in­vestor El­liott in talks with oth­er Glax­o­SmithK­line in­vestors about re­plac­ing Em­ma Walm­s­ley, spin­ning off vac­cine busi­ness — re­port

As Emma Walmsley reveals details this Wednesday about the upcoming split of GlaxoSmithKline’s pharma and consumer units, some tough questions may be coming her way.

Elliott Management, the activist investor that’s previously threatened an attack on GSK (but eventually backed off), is floating more radical changes like replacing the CEO, further breaking up the company and spinning out the vaccine unit, or reviewing the focus on cancer drugs, the Financial Times reported.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 109,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Fred Upton and Diana DeGette

New DARPA-like NIH agency preps for re­al­i­ty as E&C un­veils bi­par­ti­san Cures 2.0 draft bill

House Energy & Commerce leaders Fred Upton (R-MI) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) on Tuesday released new draft legislation with wide-ranging implications for public health, the FDA, NIH, and that would create a new, $6.5 billion federal advanced research agency under NIH, with an aim to cure cancer, Alzheimer’s and other difficult diseases.

Similar to DARPA, the new NIH division to be known as ARPA-H, would be run by a small group of program managers with more latitude to pursue high-risk, high-reward projects that other government agencies would likely shy away from.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

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

Ken Frazier, Merck CEO (Bess Adler/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mer­ck­'s Keytru­da blazes a path in first-line cer­vi­cal can­cer, mak­ing good on drug­mak­er's push for ear­li­er pa­tients

In the years since I/O wonder drug Keytruda’s initial approval, Merck has struck an aggressive clinical trial program, which is now firmly focused on earlier lines of therapy. The drugmaker has scored some success there so far, and now it’s earned one of its biggest wins yet.

Keytruda plus chemotherapy with or without background Avastin significantly extended patients’ lives over those dosed with a placebo control in first-line patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer, according to top-line data from the Phase III KEYNOTE-826 study revealed Tuesday.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 109,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.