IPOs continue to bustle as three more biotechs prepare to make the Nasdaq leap
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The biotech IPO market continues to charge full-steam ahead, with three more companies submitting their Nasdaq pitches to the SEC late Friday.
The leaders among the pack are Adagio Therapeutics and Castle Creek Biosciences, each penciling in $100 million initially. Following up the rear is Eliem Therapeutics, jotting down $80 million for its raise estimate less than six months after launching out of RA Capital’s incubator.
Friday’s filings come a week after Endpoints News’ conversation with Nasdaq official Jordan Saxe, who said the institution is in conversations with about 250 biotechs over the next 12 to 18 months. Per the Endpoints tally, the biotechs that have already priced have raised more than $10 billion combined.
In addition to the three filings, French biotech Dynacure withdrew its application for an IPO after not pricing last week.
Our own John Carroll took a deep look into Adagio’s high-profile quest for Nasdaq, which premium subscribers can read here. For the best of the rest, check out the news below.
Castle Creek takes former Fibrocell programs public
Ahead of a high-stakes Phase III readout in the second half of next year, Castle Creek is seeking to join the Nasdaq ranks.
The Exton, PA-based biotech is focusing its efforts around a program called dabocemagene autoficel, or D-Fi, to treat recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a sometimes fatal rare disease caused by a lack of collagen in the skin resulting in uncontrollable blistering. It’s a program that comes from the small acquisition of the biotech Fibrocell back in September 2019.
Castle Creek has been working on rare diseases involving the skin since inception, with a former lead program in a broader epidermolysis bullosa population. But that candidate, a topical reformulation of the IL-1 beta anti-inflammatory drug diacerein, failed a Phase II study in October 2018.
Co-founder Michael Derby had told Endpoints at the time that Castle Creek planned to advance the program into Phase III despite the failure, but it’s unclear if those plans ever came to fruition. Diacerein is no longer listed among the biotech’s pipeline, and its only mentions in the S-1 revolve around the old licensing agreements Castle Creek signed to re-engineer it as a topical drug.
The biotech will continue to charge forward with the newer candidate, and plans to launch a second Phase III study before the end of 2021 in the dominant version of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Though Castle Creek did not divulge exact figures in its SEC paperwork, it’s expected a significant portion of these funds will go toward the two studies and “pre-commercial” activities for D-Fi.
There’s also another Fibrocell gene therapy for moderate to severe localized scleroderma in the works, and some IPO funds will be used to wrap up an ongoing Phase I/II trial, Castle Creek noted. The biotech comes from maven Jeff Aronin and his portfolio of companies under the Paragon umbrella. Once it prices, Castle Creek expects to trade under the ticker $CCBS.
Eliem for a dream: From stealth to Nasdaq in four months
Eliem Therapeutics is aiming to complete a quick rise to Nasdaq after launching at the end of March.
There had been signs of an IPO after the biotech’s $60 million Series B, when company spokespeople declined interview requests ahead of the filing. Eliem likely represents one of the fastest Nasdaq pushes for biotech in recent memory, going from launch to filing for an IPO in less than four months.
Should it price, Eliem will have a pipeline of four neuro assets led by a prodrug of an endocannabinoid known as palmitoylethanolamide, or PEA. The candidate is known as ETX-810, and CSO Valerie Morisset previously told Endpoints the biotech is looking at a variety of chronic pain indications.
ETX-810 is currently in two Phase IIa studies looking at diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain and lumbosacral radicular pain. Data readouts are expected for the first half of 2022.
Eliem is also developing a GABA-positive allosteric modulator, which the company is calling ETX-155. Researchers plan to take this program into two Phase IIa studies for major depressive disorder and hormone-related depressive disorders, as well as a Phase Ib trial for epilepsy. Data here are expected in the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, respectively.
Both programs come from RA Capital, where the biotech was incubated. Both will also be the primary focuses for the IPO raise.
Once Eliem goes public, it will trade under the ticker $ELYM.