With US gov­ern­ment shut­down over, Gos­samer re­verts to tra­di­tion­al IPO plan

All Gos­samer Bio wants is to go pub­lic, and fast. But that hasn’t been easy.

Sheila Gu­jrathi

One day be­fore the US shut­down be­gan (De­cem­ber 21), the com­pa­ny filed its prospec­tus with the SEC in a bid to go pub­lic. But the pro­tract­ed shut­down — which es­sen­tial­ly par­a­lyzed the SEC — prompt­ed Gos­samer to al­ter its plans. On Jan­u­ary 23 — two days be­fore the gov­ern­ment opened — the drug de­vel­op­er an­nounced it was us­ing a risky, rarely used path to forge ahead: Em­ploy­ing a fixed price and fore­go­ing the typ­i­cal­ly lengthy SEC re­view of their prospec­tus to green light the list­ing in fa­vor of en­abling their reg­is­tra­tion by lock­ing in their IPO price 20 days be­fore mak­ing a mar­ket de­but (Feb­ru­ary 13).

Now, with the SEC back in full force, the com­pa­ny is ask­ing the agency to to dis­re­gard the amend­ed prospec­tus it filed on Jan­u­ary 23, and pay heed to the orig­i­nal prospec­tus sub­mit­ted on De­cem­ber 21, but to has­ten their re­view.

“…the reg­is­tra­tion state­ment Gos­samer Bio filed on Jan­u­ary 23, 2019 will no longer be­come au­to­mat­i­cal­ly ef­fec­tive…20 cal­en­dar days af­ter its fil­ing date. With to­day’s fil­ing, Gos­samer Bio in­tends to re­quest from the SEC ac­cel­er­a­tion of the ef­fec­tive date of the reg­is­tra­tion state­ment pri­or to the date that it would have oth­er­wise be­come au­to­mat­i­cal­ly ef­fec­tive,” the com­pa­ny said in a state­ment on Wednes­day.

Fa­heem Has­nain

When the com­pa­ny will now de­but is un­clear. How­ev­er, the terms of the of­fer­ing have not changed since Jan­u­ary 23. The com­pa­ny plans to of­fer 14.4 mil­lion shares priced at $16/share, which will al­low the com­pa­ny to raise rough­ly $230 mil­lion in gross pro­ceeds and list un­der the sym­bol $GOSS. Mean­while, ex­ist­ing stock­hold­ers have in­di­cat­ed their in­ter­est in pur­chas­ing about $100 mil­lion in shares in the of­fer­ing at the IPO price of $16.

The road to an IPO can be long and lit­tered with SEC com­mu­ni­ca­tion that re­flects the agency’s deep dive in­to the com­pa­ny’s dis­clo­sures be­fore the green light is sanc­tioned, fol­low­ing which in­vestors in­di­cate their en­thu­si­asm or lack there­of by mak­ing bids on the high­er or low­er end of the price band of­fered. The ab­sence of an ex­plic­it SEC en­dorse­ment could serve to haunt the com­pa­ny lat­er down the line, if the dis­clo­sures made by the com­pa­ny come up short.

The com­pa­ny, orig­i­nal­ly named FSG Bio, was found­ed by for­mer Re­cep­tos CMO Sheila Gu­jrathi and Fa­heem Has­nain, the ex-Re­cep­tos CEO, in 2015, short­ly af­ter Re­cep­tos was bought out by Cel­gene. The biotech is fo­cused on im­munol­o­gy, in­flam­ma­tion and on­col­o­gy, has three drugs in the clin­ic, and an­oth­er in pre­clin­i­cal test­ing.

Brian Kaspar. AveXis via Twitter

AveX­is sci­en­tif­ic founder fires back at No­var­tis CEO Vas Narasimhan, 'cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly de­nies any wrong­do­ing'

Brian Kaspar’s head was among the first to roll at Novartis after company execs became aware of the fact that manipulated data had been included in its application for Zolgensma, now the world’s most expensive therapy.

But in his first public response, the scientific founder at AveXis — acquired by Novartis for $8.7 billion — is firing back. And he says that not only was he not involved in any wrongdoing, he’s ready to defend his name as needed.

I reached out to Brian Kaspar after Novartis put out word that he and his brother Allen had been axed in mid-May, two months after the company became aware of the allegations related to manipulated data. His response came back through his attorneys.

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As­traZeneca’s Imfinzi/treme com­bo strikes out — again — in lung can­cer. Is it time for last rites?

AstraZeneca bet big on the future of their PD-L1 Imfinzi combined with the experimental CTLA-4 drug tremelimumab. But once again it’s gone down to defeat in a major Phase III study — while adding damage to the theory involving targeting cancer with a high tumor mutational burden.

Early Wednesday the pharma giant announced that their NEPTUNE study had failed, with the combination unable to beat standard chemo at overall survival in high TMB cases of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. We won’t get hard data until later in the year, but the drumbeat of failures will call into question what — if any — future this combination can have left.

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We­bi­nar: Re­al World End­points — the brave new world com­ing in build­ing fran­chise ther­a­pies

Several biopharma companies have been working on expanding drug labels through the use of real world endpoints, combing through the data to find evidence of a drug’s efficacy for particular indications. But we’ve just begun. Real World Evidence is becoming an important part of every clinical development plan, in the soup-through-nuts approach used in building franchises.

I’ve recruited a panel of 3 top experts in the field — the first in a series of premium webinars — to look at the practical realities governing what can be done today, and where this is headed over the next few years, at the prodding of the FDA.

ZHEN SU — Merck Serono’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Oncology

ELLIOTT LEVY — Amgen’s Senior Vice President of Global Development

CHRIS BOSHOFF — Pfizer Oncology’s Chief Development Officer

A premium subscription to Endpoints News is required to attend this webinar. Please upgrade to either an Insider or Enterprise plan for access. Already have Endpoints Premium? Please sign-in below. You can contact our Subscriptions team at help@endpointsnews.com with any issues.

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UP­DAT­ED: Pay­back? An­a­lysts say Sarep­ta was blind­sided by an FDA re­jec­tion dri­ven by reg­u­la­to­ry re­venge

In one of the least anticipated moves of the year, the FDA has rejected Sarepta’s application for an accelerated approval of its Duchenne MD drug golodirsen after fretting over safety issues.

In a statement that arrived after the bell on Monday, Sarepta explained the CRL, saying:

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Levi Garraway. Broad Institute via Youtube

Roche raids Eli Lil­ly for its next chief med­ical of­fi­cer as San­dra Horn­ing plans to step down

We found out Monday morning where Levi Garraway was headed after he left Eli Lilly as head of oncology R&D a few days ago. Roche named Garraway as their new chief medical officer, replacing Sandra Horning, who they say is retiring from the company.

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Af­ter a posse of Wall Street an­a­lysts pre­dict a like­ly new win for Sarep­ta, we're down to the wire on a crit­i­cal FDA de­ci­sion

As Bloomberg notes, most of the Wall Street analysts that cover Sarepta $SRPT are an upbeat bunch, ready to cheer on the team when it comes to their Duchenne MD drugs, or offer explanations when an odd setback occurs — as happened recently with a safety signal that was ‘erroneously’ reported last week.

Ritu Baral Cowen
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FDA de­ci­sion on Ver­tex's CF triple will come just ahead of planned CEO shake­up

Vertex has clinched a priority review for the all-important cystic fibrosis triple that will blaze the trail for treating a large group of patients unhelped by its current drugs.

FDA regulators have set a PDUFA date of March 19, 2020, just a year after the Boston biotech posted positive Phase III results showing that people with two F508del mutations experienced statistically significant improvements in lung function after a 4-week regimen of VX-445, tezacaftor and ivacaftor. After reviewing 24-week data among patients with one F508del mutation and one minimal function mutation — and thoroughly comparing the VX-445 triple with another combo featuring VX-659 on scores like safety, drug-drug interactions, and photosensitivity — Vertex ultimately went with VX-445.

An MIT spin­out kills one of its ‘liv­ing ther­a­peu­tics’ af­ter flunk­ing an ear­ly-stage study — shares rout­ed

Just a few weeks after bagging $80 million in a deal to collaborate with Gingko Bioworks on its special blend of engineered bacteria used for “living therapeutics,” little Synlogic in Boston $SYBX is tossing one of its two clinical programs after watching an early-stage study go down in defeat.

Their Phase Ib/IIa study for SYNB1020 to counter the accumulation of ammonia in the body, a condition called hyperammonemia or urea cycle disorder, floundered at the interim readout, forcing the biotech to kill it and reserve its cash for pipeline therapies with greater potential.

Elan­co to buy Bay­er's an­i­mal health busi­ness for $7.6B, as deal­mak­ing gath­ers steam in the sec­tor

Last week, Elanco explicitly dodged answering questions about its rumored interest in Bayer’s animal health business in its post-earnings call. On Tuesday, the Eli Lilly spinoff disclosed it was purchasing the German drug maker’s veterinary unit in a cash-and-stock deal worth $7.6 billion. 

Elanco $ELAN has been busy on the deal-making front. In April, it laid out plans to swallow its partner, Kansas-based pet therapeutics company Aratana $PETX. A July report by Reuters suggested a potential Bayer deal was being explored, and Bloomberg last week said the deal was imminent, citing sources.