Not two weeks after closing a Series D round, Galecto files for $100M IPO
Galecto Biotech is pivoting to the public market less than two weeks after completing a $64 million Series D round.
The Copenhagen-based company filed its S-1 paperwork Wednesday, seeking to raise $100 million in its IPO. If they hit that benchmark, the company will have totaled over $250 million in financing in the last two years, ever since closing a $90 million Series C back in 2018.
Through late August, the biotech industry had raised a combined $11 billion-plus across four dozen IPOs, per independent analyst Brad Loncar, which surpassed the amount from all of 2019.
And after four IPOs went public two Fridays ago, Nasdaq’s head of healthcare listings Jordan Saxe had the 2020 tally at 56. Through Sept. 25, Saxe pegged the combined industry raise at $11.3 billion.
Saxe’s tally also matched Loncar’s total from 2018, making 2020 tied for the most biotech IPOs seen in any of the last four years. Several factors have contributed to the boom, Saxe said at the time, notably with the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting an already-impressive amount of innovation in the field.
There’s also been a steady increase of crossover investors from the last few years, and with the pandemic economy, the fact that biotechs can provide longer-term investments than companies reliant on quarter-to-quarter sales numbers makes the industry more appealing.
Galecto itself focuses its research on a wide range of fibrotic diseases, and its lead program GB0139 is currently in a Phase IIb trial for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Much of the Series D funding is helping get that trial across the finish line, with the company continuing its 450-patient enrollment despite the pandemic.
GB0139 is an inhaled galectin-3 inhibitor with what CEO Hans Schambye said is a delivery system designed to maximize drug exposure to the lung and minimize systemic side effects. The Galecto candidate is hoping to compete with two other drugs in the field, Boehringer’s Ofev and Roche’s Esbriet.
New funding from the IPO will go toward advancing GB0139 into a Phase III IPF trial, according to the S-1, though Galecto did not specify how much of its raise it’s dedicating to that cause. It’s also not entirely clear when the Phase III will start given that data are expected for the Phase IIb study by the middle of 2022.
Galecto is additionally aiming to inhibit galectin-3 in fibrosis related to NASH with its GB1211 program, an orally delivered candidate. The candidate completed a Phase I trial in 78 patients, with a Phase IIa expected to begin in early 2021. Further down the pipeline is GB2064, a LOXL2 inhibitor being studied in myelofibrosis.