IPOs

With a pipeline from Gerngross’ Adimab, Arsanis hunts a $58M IPO for antibody development work

After burning through slightly more than $81 million, a biotech co-founded by Adimab’s Tillman Gerngross has pencilled in a $57.5 million raise from an IPO designed to get its mid-stage pneumonia fighting antibody through Phase II and down the road to a potential approval.

Tillman Gerngross

Arsanis got its pipeline, including its lead program for ASN100 and preclinical RSV antibodies, from Gerngross’ Adimab, along with cash from a broad syndicate of investors, a loan from Silicon Valley Bank and a grant-plus-investment from the Gates Foundation.

The Waltham, MA-based biotech joins a growing lineup of developers who see the recent slate of successful IPOs as an invitation to raise new sums of cash for their R&D plans.

Since the biotech was founded in 2011, the S-1 says that Arsanis has paid Adimab a little over $4 million for R&D work, and will owe milestones and royalties on the drugs they advance through the clinic to an approval. The company plans to list as $ASNS.

And they like the way their lead pneumonia therapy is positioned right now against rivals in the clinic. States the S-1:

There are currently no therapies approved for the prevention of S. aureus pneumonia in high-risk, mechanically ventilated patients. We are aware of two mAb products targeting S. aureus cytotoxin in clinical development, MedImmune’s MEDI4893 and Aridis Pharmaceuticals’ AR301, each of which targets only the cytotoxin Hla and is in Phase 2 clinical development. ASN100 may also compete with mAb products that may be developed to target S. aureus through different mechanisms of action, including XBiotech’s 514G3, which targets S. aureus surface Protein A and is in Phase 2 clinical development, and Genentech’s RG7861, which is comprised of a S. aureus bacterial-surface-targeting mAb attached to an antibiotic and is in Phase 1 clinical development.

According to the S-1, Polaris, SV Life Sciences and OrbiMed each own about 18% of the company. The Gates Foundation holds a little less than 10% of the stock, with Google’s GV down for about 6% following a $45 million crossover round last April, while Dartmouth professor Gerngross has 3% of the equity and co-founder Eszter Nagy — the Vienna-based CSO — holds on to 4.7% of the stock.

CEO Rene Russo earned a compensation package of about $789,000 last year, with COO Michael Gray coming in at close to $787,000.


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