Kymera, raising $173M+, becomes the 48th biotech IPO of the year as 2020 surpasses 2019
Yet another biotech will hit Nasdaq on Friday, and this one marks a milestone for 2020.
Cambridge, MA-based Kymera has priced its IPO, announcing a public price of $20 per share and $173.7 million raise. That’s upsized from an initial range of $16 to $18 per share, and would give the company a market value north of $900 million.
The announcement marks the 48th biotech IPO to go public this year, surpassing the total from all of 2019, according to investment analyst Brad Loncar. Kymera’s ticker will be $KYMR.
Launching from stealth mode out of an Atlas-backed incubator in 2017, Kymera has been at or near the forefront of protein degradation R&D, joining other pioneers C4 Therapeutics, Arvinas and Nurix. Kymera has marched forward steadily since then, nabbing $102 million in a Series C back in March and agreeing to a collaboration with Sanofi in July potentially worth more than $2 billion.
The biotech is focusing research on a trio of lead programs designed to degrade IRAK4, IRAKIMiD and STAT3, respectively. IRAK4 was the star of the Sanofi pact, a target that sits downstream of “one of the most validated pathways in innate immunity,” Kymera CEO Nello Mainolfi previously told Endpoints News, referring to where the IL-1 cytokine family and toll-like receptor signaling converges.
Proceeds from Friday’s IPO are expected to fund the development of not only the IRAK4 program, dubbed KT-474, but the other lead studies through the end of Phase I. Kymera is expected to file its first IND for KT-474 sometime in the first half of 2021, with filings for the other two coming later in the year.
Kymera is likely looking to become the second biotech to bring a protein degradation program into the clinic, after Arvinas’ protein degrader, an androgen receptor-targeting drug for prostate cancer, reached human testing in 2019. Nurix and C4 Therapeutics have not begun any clinical studies yet either, though the duo have inked collaborations with Gilead and Roche, respectively.
While its protein degradation competitors have focused mainly on cancers, Kymera has branched out into inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, as well as fibrosis. The company profiled about 600 E3 ligases with its platform, attracting both Sanofi and Vertex to sign collaboration deals.
Sanofi is likely aiming to find a successor to its blockbuster drug Dupixent, and hopes they have found another diamond in the rough in KT-474. As part of the agreement, the French pharma would take the lead on Phase II testing once Kymera finishes first-in-human testing.