Cancer Biotech G1 Therapeutics Grabs $105 Million in IPO

Published: May 17, 2017

Cancer Biotech G1 Therapeutics Grabs $105 Million in IPO May 17, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

RALEIGH, N.C. – Research Triangle Park-based G1 Therapeutics bagged $105 million in its initial public offering on Tuesday, selling seven million shares at $15 apiece. The finances will be used to fund development of the company’s breast cancer treatments.

Starting today, the company’s shares will begin trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol GTHX. When G1 announced its IPO in April the company had hoped to garner up to $115 million, but fell short of that initially hoped-for mark.

G1 is the latest of five biotechs to go public in the past month. Other companies that have gone public include Ovid Therapeutics, Verona Pharma, Zymeworks, UroGen and BioHaven Pharmaceuticals. Another biotech, Argenx of the Netherlands, is expected to go public today, Xconomy reported.

The IPO was underwritten by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Cowen and Company, Needham & Company, and Wedbush Securities. G1 Therapeutics has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,050,000 additional shares of its common stock at the IPO price.

G1 announced its intentions to become a publicly traded company in April. Founded in 2008 as a spinout from the University of North Carolina, G1 Therapeutics is developing cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), with a particular focus on CDK4 and CDK6. In its filing, G1 said it believes it is the “only company with two distinct clinical-stage CDK4/6 inhibitors, trilaciclib and G1T38, each of which has the potential to be the backbone therapy of multiple combination regimens.”

Trilaciclib, which is G1’s most advanced candidate, is a potential first-in-class intravenous CDK4/6 inhibitor designed to preserve hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) and enhance immune system function during chemotherapy. Trilaciclib is being evaluated in three Phase II clinical trials: a study in newly diagnosed, treatment-naive small-cell lung cancer patients, a study in previously treated small-cell lung cancer patients and a study in patients with triple-negative breast cancer.

In addition to those two drugs, G1 is also developing G1T48, a proprietary selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD). In preclinical studies, G1T48 has been shown to be more potent than Faslodex and to have superior anti-tumor efficacy versus other SERDs in development, the company said. G1T48 is currently in IND-enabling studies and is on track for Phase I clinical development in the fourth quarter of 2017, the company said.

G1’s drugs will compete with established CDK4/6 drugs including Pfizer’s Ibrance, which was approved in 2015 and is the company’s fastest growing revenue driver.

Before its IPO, the biggest investors in G1 were Hatteras Venture Partners, which held nearly 20 percent, and Medimmune Ventures, which held about 17 percent, Xconomy reported. Other investors included Eshelman Ventures, RA Capital and Lumira Capital.

Writing in Seeking Alpha, analyst Don Dion recommended investors “consider caution” before buying shares of G1.

“While we have observed that cancer-focused companies tend to garner significant investor attention at the time of IPO, GTHX is still in early clinical stages,” Dion said.

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