Perceptive fields SPAC #3 as another group of biotechs scoops up $364M in latest Nasdaq romp
There’s no sign that the windfall of cash dropping biotech’s way on Wall Street is abating. Three more biopharmas priced IPOs on Thursday and Friday morning, riding a historic boom with a $364 million payoff.
London-based biotech Freeline Therapeutics took home the lion’s share of the cash with $159 million after pricing 8,823,529 shares at $18 a pop. Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, of Cambridge, MA, raised $75 million with an offer of 5 million shares at $15 — right at the midpoint of its range. And Arya Sciences Acquisition Corp III, the third in a series from Perceptive, priced 13,000,000 shares at $10 per share.
Drugmakers are securing big sums amid the pandemic boom, including AlloVir, which bagged $276 million from 16.3 million shares last week. Initially, the company had filed for a $100 million IPO. By June, all 23 newly public companies had priced above their midpoint or upsized their offering.
And there’s more coming: Kymera Therapeutics announced plans to go public on Monday, when it filed for a $100 million IPO.
Checkmate initially filed for an IPO on July 17, then raised its maximum offering price to $92 million in an amended S-1 filing. The immuno-oncology biotech is investigating its drug CMP-001 across multiple cancers, including melanoma and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and says it will use the funds to advance clinical trials. BofA Securities, Jefferies Group and BMO Capital Markets are managing the deal.
CMP-001 uses the immune system to its advantage, directing activated anti-tumor T cells to attack both the injected tumor and tumors throughout the body. It’s been tested on more than 200 melanoma patients to date, and based on clinical data, the company believes “there is an opportunity for CMP-001 to be developed as a differentiated immuno-oncology therapy,” according to the S-1 filing.
Freeline initially filed for a $100 million IPO, with JP Morgan Securities LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. and Evercore Group as joint bookrunners. Its AAV gene-therapy treatments target hemophilia A and B, Fabry disease, and Type 1 Gaucher disease.
The biotech’s lead candidate, FLT180a, is currently in a Phase I/II trial for hemophilia B. IPO funds will propel the company’s pipeline, including Phase I/II trials for FLT180a and FLT190, a potential drug to treat Fabry disease.
SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) are benefiting from the boom, too. Once rare in the biotech world, they now represent nearly 35% of listings, Nasdaq’s Jay Heller told Endpoints last month.
Perceptive Advisors’ blank check company Arya III filed for a $143.7 million IPO on July 21, and investors are betting on a profitable merger. In March, Arya I merged with biotech Immatics in a $252 million deal. Cerevel Therapeutics merged with Arya II in July, expecting to raise about $445 million to develop its pipeline.