March Madness: "The Fabulous 5" Life Science IPOs
March has been a busy month for biopharma and medical device company initial public offerings. Here’s a look at the top IPO stories for the month.
Genfit to Raise $135.1 Million
Based in France and Cambridge, Mass., GENFIT announced pricing of its IPO on March 27. The company, which focuses on liver diseases, with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) a primary focus, is offering 6,150,000 ordinary shares at a price of $20.32 with a concurrent private placement of 500,000 ordinary shares in Europe and other countries outside the U.S. at an offering price of 18 euros per ordinary share. The total funds the company hopes to raise is $135.1 million. The shares will trade on the Nasdaq under the GNFT symbol.
Genfit’s lead compound is elafibranor. It is currently in the RESOLVE-IT Phase III clinical trial for NASH.
NGM Biopharmaceuticals Resets IPO
Based in South San Francisco, NGM Biopharmaceuticals announced terms of its IPO on March 25. It originally had filed in September, but those plans were shelved until recently. It plans to raise $100 million by offering 6.7 million shares at a price ranging from $14 to $16 per share. The Column Group has said it plans to buy $30 million of shares, or about 30 percent of the deal, at the offering. Merck expects to invest $62 million in a concurrent private placement. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol NGM.
In February 2015, Merck made a $94 million upfront payment to NGM and acquired $106 million of NGM’s preferred stock. It committed up to $250 million to fund NGM’s research and development efforts under the initial five-year term of the deal, with additional milestone payments available. In March 2019, Merck exercised its option, to extend the initial five-year R&D phase for another two-year period from March 2020 to March 2022.
Like Genfit, NGM Biopharmaceuticals focuses on metabolic and liver disease, such as NASH and type 2 diabetes. In January 2019, Merck exercised its option to license NGM313, a monoclonal antibody agonist of the beta-Kloth/FGFR1c receptor complex for NASH. Merck plans to advance it into a Phase IIb trial to evaluate it on liver histology and glucose control in NASH patients with or without diabetes.
Precision BioSciences Hopes to Raise $100 Million
Precision BioSciences, headquartered in Durham, NC, filed with the SEC in early March for an IPO to raise $100 million. The company focuses on gene-edited CAR-T cell therapies for cancer. Its ARCUS tech platform is a fully synthetic enzyme much like a homing endonuclease. A homing endonuclease is a naturally-occurring DNA-cutting enzyme found in the genomes of many eukaryotic lifeforms. ARCUS is an improvement on nature, with high specificity that can be customized to recognize a DNA sequence inside any target gene. On March 18, the company priced its IPO between $15 and $17 per share and plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol DTIL. It plans to use the funds for clinical trials and a manufacturing facility.
ShockWave Medical Closed on $111.4 Million IPO on March 11
On March 11, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Shockwave Medical closed on its IPO of 6,555,000 shares of common stock at $17 per share, raising about $111.4 million. It traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol SWAV. ShockWave is a medical device company focused on treating calcified cardiovascular disease. The technology is a form of lithotripsy, commonly used to break up kidney stones, but adapted to break down calcium deposits associated with various types of cardiovascular disease.
Silk Road Medical to Raise $75 Million in Its IPO
Silk Road Medical, based in Sunnyvale, Calilf., set its IPO price on March 25, offering 4.7 million shares at a range of $15 to $17 per share. The company hopes to raise $75 million. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the SILK symbol.
Silk Road develops and manufactures less-invasive medical devices to improve carotid artery disease treatment via proprietary transcarotid therapies. TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is a clinically proven procedure that combines surgery with minimally invasive endovascular techniques to treat blockages in the carotid artery at risk of causing a stroke. The company has a variety of products, including ENROUTE Transcarotid Neuroprotection System, ENROUTE Transcarotid Stent System and others.