CAR-T, IPOs

Quiet and confidential IPO registration? Who needs it. Autolus shouts about its next big raise

Autolus has launched a process to privately position an IPO on Nasdaq, but decided it doesn’t want to be so secretive about it.

Christian Itin

The London-based cell therapy trumpeted “the confidential submission of a draft registration statement on Form F-1 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a potential initial public offering of ordinary shares in the United States.”

And they want you to know about it, even though the timing, target raise and terms are all up in the air.

That’s not the way these things usually work, but the biotech has its own reasons for being publicly enthusiastic about its confidential dealings regarding its next big fundraising effort. I named Autolus to our first round of the Endpoints 11, highlighting 11 up-and-coming biotechs that promised great things.

Martin Pule

Autolus has raised $185 million from its investment syndicate so far, which are backing some new tech and a dual-targeting approach that they believe can leapfrog the pioneering CAR-Ts on the market from Novartis and Gilead/Kite.

They’ve pushed their way into the clinic on multiple myeloma — a particularly hot target in oncology — as well as diffuse large B cell lymphoma and pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And they’re led by Christian Itin, who helped raise and sell Micromet.

Autolus was spun out of the lab of Martin Pule at University College London. Years ago Pule — now CSO at Autolus — got a chance to help with some of the pioneering research going into reengineering T cells into cancer therapies at Malcolm Brenner’s lab at Baylor College of Medicine.

Adoptive cell therapy development and marketing is an expensive proposition, but investors are likely to feel enthusiastic after Celgene just closed its $9 billion buyout of Juno, which is angling to deliver the third big approval in the field.


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