Germany's CureVac Scores $213 Million in IPO
The biotech sold 13,333,333 common shares at an initial public offering price of $16 per common share, which secured a total of $213.3 million. Underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,999,999 common shares at the public offering price. For the rest of the investing world, the stock will be available this morning on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “CVAC.”
CureVac is exploring the use of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology as a potential treatment for a number of diseases, including cancers and rare diseases. The principle of CureVac's proprietary technology is the use of mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins capable of fighting a wide range of diseases. Messenger RNA harnesses the genetic code for pathogens and is then inserted into a patient with a goal of producing antigens or proteins that can help the immune system fight off the infection. As of yet, no mRNA drug has been approved.
The Tubingen, Germany-based company said it will use the net proceeds from the IPO, as well as a recent private placement of cash, to fund a number of different projects, including the continued development of its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate through Phase III, as well as advance its lead oncology program, CV8102, through the completion of the Phase 2 clinical trial. Funds will also be used to advance CureVac’s rabies program through Phase II and to advance the development of other preclinical and clinical programs.
CureVac also has a vaccine program, including a candidate for the prevention of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has become a global pandemic. In June, CureVac announced the go-ahead to initiate Phase I testing of its mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. The development of that vaccine candidate has been bolstered by a significant investment from the German government, which acquired a 23% stake in the company that same month.
Then, in late July, GSK forged a strategic collaboration with CureVac valued at about $1 billion to develop up to five messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting infectious disease pathogens. Under terms of the deal, GSK made an equity payment of £130 million (approximately $164 million), which represents a nearly 10% stake in the Germany-based company.
BofA Securities, Jefferies and Credit Suisse are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering, with Berenberg and Kempen & Co acting as passive book-running managers.