Rubius Therapeutics Looks to Raise $200 Million in IPO for Red-Cell Therapies

Pile of money

Three months after securing $100 million in a crossover financing round, Cambridge, Mass.-based Rubius Therapeutics is looking at a $200 million initial public offering to support its personalized red blood cell therapeutics program.

Rubius, which is advancing its Red-Cell Therapeutics portfolio, filed its intentions to go public with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week. Since Rubius launched in 2015 with $25 million by Flagship Pioneering, the company has been successful in raising funds. Not only did it secure the $100 million in March, In June 2017 the company snagged $120 in private financing. But, as the company looks to file an Investigative New Drug Application in the first part of 2019, Rubius needs additional funding to advance its pipeline. In total, the company has raised more than $240 million to drive its programs, the company said in its filing.

In its filing with the SEC, the company said it has generated “hundreds of Red Cell Therapies (RCTs) through its Rubius Erythrocyte Design platform, a cellular therapy vehicle. In addition to the IND planned for early 2019, the company said it plans for additional RCT product candidates during 2019, 2020 and beyond.

Rubius’ lead program is RTX-134, which is being developed as a treatment for phenylketonuria (PKU), a metabolic disease that affects as many as one in 13,000 births in the U.S. That is the asset the company intends to file the IND.

The company specializes in engineering red blood cells to have medicinal purposes. The company’s therapeutic program turns stem cells into red blood cells and then introduces genetic material into the cells to express specific proteins, which will make them uniquely suited for treating a variety of diseases, including rare diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases. The company described its product as “ready-to-use cellular therapies” that can be transfused into approximately 95 percent of patients. That can be done because the RCTs are produced from O negative donor blood stem cells. O-negative blood is the universal type of blood for blood donations.

The engineered blood cells provide advantages in treating these various diseases over traditional therapies, the company said. Rubius’ red cell therapeutics was developed in-house and will allow diseases to be treated in broad and new ways that will have a positive impact on the lives of patients facing multiple diseases.

“We believe our RED Platform and RCTs represent a transformative step in the evolution of cellular therapies because they are designed to confer desirable attributes for a next-generation cellular therapy,” Rubius said in its filing.

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