G1 Therapeutics joins a growing biotech winners circle with $105M IPO

Mark Velleca

G1 Therapeutics is now the latest in a string of biotech IPOs to start out with a hit on its price range. The Research Triangle Park, NC-based outfit raised $105 million by selling 7 million shares at $15 each. That’s the bottom of the range, but that qualifies as another successful outing for the latest in a slate of biotechs finding a relatively warm reception on Wall Street after a fairly chilly Q1.

The company will now start trading as $GTHX.

The spate of IPOs includes a big $168 million windfall for BioHaven Pharma $BHVN, which went over its range with an upsized offering and another success for UroGen $URGN. Ovid $OVID stuck to the low end of its range, but is now trading below its initial price.

Next up: Argenx $ARGX, a Dutch antibody biotech which just upsized its offering to 5 million shares.

G1 likely gained a significant amount of insider support for its IPO, a common feature since the biotech IPO boom began to fade in 2015.

The biotech has been closely focused on CDK 4/6. CEO Mark Velleca and the crew at G1 feel they have started down the path to developing CDK 4/6 drugs that they believe can do much better in tackling cancer than the first wave. Ibrance is closely linked with neutropenia, forcing physicians to give the drug on an intermittent schedule with time off to help patients handle the side effects. G1 believes its IV CDK 4/6 is a first-in-class contender that can supersede the frontrunners on the market. And it has another therapy in the clinic that’s aimed at protecting the immune system from the ravages of chemotherapy, helping amplify chemo’s positive effects while blunting the side effects.

Hatteras Venture Partners owns the biggest chunk of equity, at 19.8%. They are followed by MedImmune Ventures (16%), Eshelman (15%) and RA Capital — also behind BioHaven — (10%). Velleca owns a little less than 3% of the company.

(John Carroll contributed to this story.)

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