San Diego’s stealthy Odonate surfaces with $173M IPO

Apparently the IPO window remains wide open. Shortly following news of Denali’s $100 million IPO plans, a small and rather quiet biotech in San Diego named Odonate Therapeutics filed paperwork with the SEC signaling plans to raise $173 million.

Although flying under the radar, Odonate has apparently been busy building up its staff. The company employs 44 people and is led by chairman and CEO Kevin Tang, the guy who co-founded San Diego’s Ardea Biosciences back in 2006 and later sold it to AstraZeneca for $1.26 billion.

The company is working on an oral chemotherapy drug called Tesetaxel, which Odonate licensed from Daiichi Sankyo back in 2013, according to regulatory forms. The company hopes the drug will be less of a burden for cancer patients, as it’s in pill form and free of some side-effect-causing ingredients (polysorbet 80, polyoxyethylated castor oil).

The drug was first licensed from Daiichi by New Jersey-based Genta back in 2008, but apparently got handed back to Daiichi after Genta went bankrupt in 2012. It’s unclear how Odonate plans to bring the drug back from the dead, but we’ve reached out to Odonate to learn more.

Odonate plans to start enrolling for a Phase III study in metastatic breast cancer during the fourth quarter of 2017, and have data by 2020.

The size of this IPO is unusual for a San Diego biotech. So far this year, the city’s biotech hub has generated three IPOs — Tocagen, AnaptysBio and Akcea — none of which breached $100 million.

Odonate makes the sixth biotech IPO this month, bringing the year’s total to 37. That’s compared to 28 biotech IPOs in 2016.

Image: Coronado Bridge, San Diego.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
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Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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