Gossamer Bio Plans to Raise $264.5 Million with IPO


Gossamer Bio, headquartered in San Diego, announced plans for its initial public offering (IPO) just before Christmas.

The biopharma company focuses on immunobiology, specifically immunology, inflammation, immuno-oncology and fibrosis. It has four programs, two in Phase II, one in Phase I and a preclinical research program.

Gossamer Bio’s lead product candidate is GB001 for eosinophilic asthma, a difficult-to-manage type of the disease. The company estimates that half of severe asthma sufferers in the U.S. have eosinophilic asthma. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that one out of every 13 people has some type of asthma.

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The drug has been evaluated in 409 people and the company indicates it was generally well-tolerated. Gossamer Bio ran a Phase II trial of GB001 in Japan and the drug showed improvements in patients at the time of an asthma attack compared to placebo. However, in a separate Phase II trial, it didn’t hit a specific forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). The company, in its defense, noted that Merck’s Singulair (montelukast) also didn’t meet that standard, attributing GB001’s failure to study design and patient selection.

Gossamer launched a Phase IIb trial. It also believes that GB001 may be used to treat chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps and chronic spontaneous urticaria. It expects to begin proof-of-concept Phase II trials for those indications in 2019.

The company has done a great job of raising money so far this year. It debuted in January with $100 million in financing, then in July raised $230 million.

The company plans to raise $264.5 million via the IPO. 

Gossamer Bio was co-founded by Sheila Gujrathi and Faheem Hasnain. Gujrathi is the company’s chief executive officer and Hasnain is the executive chairman. Prior to forming Gossamer, Gujrathi was chief medical officer of Receptos from June 2011 until it was acquired by Celgene in August 2015 for $7.2 billion. Hasnain was the president, chief executive officer and board director of Receptos from November 2010 until August 2015.

The company has also added other high-powered executives this fall. In September, Luisa Salter-Cid, formerly head of immunology discovery for Bristol-Myers Squibb, joined Gossamer as chief scientific officer. And earlier this month, Jakob Dupont, formerly vice president and global head of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Development with Genentech, joined as chief medical officer.

On December 17, when Dupont joined the company, Gujrathi stated, “Gossamer has grown rapidly during the past year and has a meaningful pipeline of exciting clinical and preclinical drug candidates. Jakob’s extensive clinical development and regulatory expertise comes at a critical time for the company as we accelerate our development and look ahead to multiple significant clinical milestones. Jakob’s deep experience across the spectrum of therapeutic clinical development is an ideal fit, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Gossamer team.”

At the moment, Gossamer Bio has about 100 employees, about double from the number cited in July. Investors include China’s Hillhouse Capital, Arch Venture Partners, Omega Funds, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Invus, Boston-based Baupost Group, and Polaris Partners.

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