IPO Market Shows Signs of Life as Acelyrin Begins Nasdaq Bid

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California-based Acelyrin filed an initial public offering (IPO) Thursday in an effort to advance its immunology programs through the clinic.

The privately held biotech has yet to disclose how many shares of its common stock it plans to put up for sale or how much it expects to collect in net proceeds. A Filing Fee Table included in its SEC filing shows that Acelyrin could be aiming for a $100 million IPO, though this figure is subject to change.

Founded in July 2020 by CEO Shao-Lee Lin, Acelyrin labels itself as “a late-stage clinical biopharma company” that seeks out and buys promising and potentially transformative medicines to accelerate their development and see them through to the market. Lin was formerly with Horizon Therapeutics, where she served as chief scientific officer.

Acelyrin’s lead candidate is izokibep, an antibody mimetic designed to target and inhibit IL-17A. The biotech licensed izokibep from Affibody AB in November 2021, concurrent with the closing of a $250 million Series B funding round.

Izokibep is currently being assessed in Phase IIb/III trials in hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and uveitis. Topline HS data are expected in the latter half of 2023. Meanwhile, initial results for PsA and uveitis are expected to roll in by mid-2024, the company revealed in its SEC paperwork.

The biotech also plans to launch a Phase III study of izokibep in axial spondyloarthritis, pending dosing data from the PsA trial and discussions with the FDA.

In January 2023, Acelyrin acquired ValenzaBio in an all-stock deal and gained access to preclinical and clinical immunology programs. These include lonigutamab, an anti-IGF-1R humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody for thyroid eye disease, and SLRN-517, an antibody inhibiting the c-KIT pathway to treat chronic urticaria and other mast cell–driven conditions.

Since its launch, Acelyrin has won more than $550 million in committed capital, including a $300 million Series C in September 2022. Of this sum, $400 million has already been funded, the company stated in its SEC filing.

IPOs on the Upswing

Following the pandemic-driven boom in 2020 and 2021, funding streams started to run dry for the biotech industry in 2022, leading to a much lower number of companies going public.

This year, IPOs could be on the upswing.

This week, Singaporean biopharma CytoMed Therapeutics filed its IPO, hoping to make around $9.6 million in gross proceeds to advance its pipeline of cell-based immunotherapies against cancer.

In February, Structure Therapeutics announced an upsized $161.1 million IPO, though a company spokesperson told BioSpace at the time that the company was “in a quiet period” and could not provide specific details about what the funds would be used for. Structure aims to replace biologic and peptide medicines with small molecule drugs.

A week later, Mineralys Therapeutics began its Nasdaq bid, expecting to make $192 million in gross proceeds. The company focuses on hypertension medicines and its lead asset is MLS-101, an oral inhibitor of aldosterone synthase, an important enzyme in hypertension pathology.

Two smaller life science IPOs were launched in January 2023. Genelux Corporation, which develops oncolytic viral immunotherapies for aggressive and difficult-to-treat solid tumors, sought to raise $15 million in gross proceeds, while Cadrenal Therapeutics wanted a gross of $7 million to support the development of its cardiorenal candidate tecarfarin.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in metro Manila, Philippines. He can be reached at tristan@tristanmanalac.com or tristan.manalac@biospace.com

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