News briefing: PureTech plans Nasdaq debut with secondary listing; GoodRx prices $725M IPO
London Stock Exchange-listed PureTech Health announced Wednesday that it’s looking to extend to Nasdaq. But due to its “strong cash position,” the biotech says it isn’t issuing any new shares in the potential secondary listing.
The company’s shares closed at £256.50 Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange. Its candidate LYT-100 is currently in Phase I development for various indications, including lymphatic flow disorders and fibrotic and inflammatory disorders. PureTech is expecting a Phase Ib readout in lymphatic flow disorders later this year, and is also planning to launch a Phase II study for the drug to treat respiratory conditions experienced after Covid-19.
In addition to its own pipeline, PureTech benefits from a network of affiliates, including Karuna Therapeutics, which is working on neuropsychiatric disorder therapies, Gelesis, which was FDA cleared for its weight management drug Plenity, and Vedanta Biosciences, which is developing microbiome drugs.
PureTech said it intends to continue trading on the London Stock Exchange in addition to its potential US listing. — Nicole DeFeudis
Price watchdog GoodRx raises $725 million, prices IPO
GoodRx, the consumer prescription drug platform and drug price watchdog, announced the pricing of its IPO Wednesday morning.
The company, which filed for the public offering at the end of August, will begin trading on the Nasdaq at $33 per share. Initially expecting a $750 million raise, GoodRx came up just shy of that high target and ultimately pulled in $725 million.
GoodRx’s initial price is the highest among biotech IPOs this year — if you can call it a biotech.
So far in 2020, there have already been more than 50 IPOs in the industry, eclipsing the total from all of 2019. As of mid-August, the companies have raised a combined $11 billion, but GoodRx’s hefty sum will surely add to that total.
GoodRx has become quite profitable in the last few years, despite being mainly known for compiling annual lists of the most expensive drug prices and helping consumers compare prescription costs. In 2019 the company netted a profit of $66 million, and through the first of half of this year, they were on track to pocket $100 million. — Max Gelman
Expanding a Celgene legacy pact, Bristol Myers grabs celiac treatment from Anokion
Bristol Myers Squibb is apparently intrigued enough by Anokion’s approach for treating autoimmune disease to not just keep, but expand the collaboration Celgene had inked with the Swiss biotech.
In the latest move, Bristol Myers is grabbing Anokion’s lead drug candidate, KAN-101, which is designed to treat celiac disease by tolerizing T cells to gluten antigens.
“We are intrigued by the opportunity to leverage this immune tolerization platform as a treatment for celiac disease, as well as multiple sclerosis,” Rupert Vessey, president of R&D, said in a statement.
Anokion is getting an undisclosed upfront payment. As with the other programs covered in deal, originally signed in 2016, the biotech is responsible for completing preclincal and Phase I before Bristol Myers takes over the funding of trials and subsequent commercial work. — Amber Tong
Medigene chops staffers, switches focus to TCR for solid tumors
Germany’s Medigene is laying off a quarter of its staff as it hunkers down to focus on the lead programs in T cell receptor T cell therapy.
The biotech, which boasts of alliances with bluebird and Vivek Ramaswamy’s Cytovant, noted that the challenges associated with treating very sick cancer patients amid a pandemic is forcing it to take longer with the Phase I dose escalation trial of MDG1011 in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. But once that’s done, it will be looking for a partner for the Phase II portion.
Looking ahead, Medigene said it will concentrate all preclinical R&D activities on developing cell therapies for solid tumors. — Amber Tong