Autolus Brings in $150 Million in IPO, Continues Strong Investment Trend for Biotechs This Week

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Autolus Therapeutics snagged $150 million from its initial public offering, about $25 million more than the company initially expected when it began its roadshow effort earlier this month. The company continued a streak of strong biotech IPOs this week that totaled $718 million.

Two weeks ago U.K.-based Autolus anticipated securing between $117.2 million and $132.8 million from its IPO. However, this morning the company announced that it was able to raise more than expected. Autolus sold 8.8 million shares of common stock at $17 per share for total gross proceeds of approximately $150 million.

Shares will begin trading today on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AUTL. Autolus said it has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,323,529 shares at the IPO price. Some of the biggest investors in the company have been Syncona Ltd., Woodford Capital Trust PLC and Arix Bioscience Plc.

Autolus said the funds raised from the IPO will be used to develop its CAR-T treatments, including its dual targeting CAR-T cell therapy AUTO3. AUTO3 is an autologous T-cell product targeting the antigens CD19 and CD22, which are expressed by cancer cells in B-cell leukemia and lymphoma.

Autolus, a portfolio company of U.K.-based Syncona Ltd., launched in 2014. Last fall the company closed on $80 million in Series C funding, which built on $53 million the company secured in a Series B funding round. Those funds were used in part to support Phase I/II dose-escalation studies in pediatric Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) and adult Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) that were initiated last fall.

Autolus’ $150 million IPO was hard on the heels of several other biotech IPOs this week that saw hundreds of millions of dollars invested in the industry. On Thursday Magenta Therapeutics raised about $100 million in its IPO. Magenta shares were bought at $15 in the IPO. The company began trading on the Nasdaq Thursday under the symbol MGTA.

Illinois-based Aptinyx snagged about $102 million in its Thursday IPO. That was far more than the company hoped to gain. In May Aptinyx was shooting for $80 million in its IPO. Aptinyx has its lead product, NYX-2925, in two Phase II studies in chronic pain. One study is testing the therapeutic in patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy and the second is for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Aptinyx anticipates topline data from these two studies in the first half of 2019.

Eidos Therapeutics raised about $106 million in its IPO, while AvroBio brought in $99.7 million. Kezar Life Sciences raised $75 million and Xeris Pharmaceuticals raised $85.5 million at $15 per share. 

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