Two preclinical biotechs riding the IPO wave this week look to raise $466M-plus; Blackstone's Galakatos backs Reata to the tune of $350M
→ These days, there’s virtually no raise too big for biotech. Case in point: 2 looming IPOs where the executive team is sketching out some mega-money that can fuel their operations for some time. Avidity Biosciences, which has a preclinical program for myotonic dystrophy type 1, believes it can gin up to $248 million or more now, based on the high end of their range. They’re looking for a market cap of around $619 million. Geoff McDonough at Generation Bio, meanwhile, has his eyes set on $218 million-plus with a top-end range of $19 a share. Generation is also preclinical, something that would have scared off investors earlier. Today, that profile can be worth more than $880 million in market value.
→ Plano, TX-based Reata $RETA is getting a major league assist from the Blackstone Life Sciences group to get its drug bardoxolone over the line at the FDA and into the market. A busy Blackstone Life Sciences chief Nicholas Galakatos has inked a $350 million royalty and equity deal with Reata on its CKD drug in Alport syndrome, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and other conditions. “Bringing the first potential therapy to Alport syndrome patients, a devastating genetic condition with no approved treatments, is very motivating,” said Paris Panayiotopoulos, Blackstone Life Sciences senior managing director.
→ Texas biotech CNS Pharmaceuticals has secured the FDA’s orphan drug designation for its lead experimental drug, berubicin, for the treatment of malignant gliomas, a type of brain tumor. Brain cancer is notoriously difficult to treat, given that for treatments to work they must surmount a formidable obstacle — the blood-brain barrier.