IPOs

Nasdaq parade marches on as ex-Genmab crew at Y-mAbs reaps $96M

The story that Y-mAbs told for the first time in its IPO filing has earned the cancer biotech an upsized $92 million raise to power a slate of trials for its two lead drugs.

Claus Moller

Run by a group of ex-Genmab execs between New York City and Denmark, Y-mAbs traces part of its roots to Memorial Sloan Kettering, from which it licensed naxi­ta­mab and om­bur­tamab. These two drugs were key in the treatment of founder Thomas Gad’s daughter — first when she was diagnosed with high risk neu­rob­las­toma at age 2 and then when she relapsed. The 13-year-old is now disease-free.

For the public debut, Y-mAbs sold 6 million shares — up from the originally intended 5.3 million — at $16 per share. It has begun trading on Nasdaq under the symbol $YMAB.

Dan­ish ship­ping ty­coon Baron Johan Wedell-Wedells­borg owns the biggest sin­gle chunk of the stock, at 24%. Nai-Kong Che­ung, a MSK researcher credited with om­bur­tamab, held on to 8.6% of the eq­uity. That’s about what HBM got for its re­cent buy-in, and MSK owns about 10% of the com­pany.

While they have a focus on two lead drugs, CEO Claus Moller and his team also campaigned on the no­tion that they can cre­ate bet­ter bis­pe­cific an­ti­bod­ies that can kill can­cer cells faster and longer than the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion.

In one study in­volv­ing 23 chil­dren suf­fer­ing from neu­rob­las­toma, re­searchers tracked a 57% re­sponse rate with naxi­ta­mab — and the com­pany wants to pool data from an up­com­ing piv­otal study to pro­vide the ev­i­dence needed to gain an ac­cel­er­ated ap­proval — if it works in the big­ger study.

The com­pany now has a time­line for both top ther­a­pies, with BLAs slated for 2019, and plans to launch their own com­mer­cial­iza­tion ef­fort a year after that.

Prior to the IPO, the biotech had raised $120 mil­lion, with $70 mil­lion of that on tap.


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