Sana Biotechnology Sets Terms for $323 Million IPO


Fresh on the heels of filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $150 million in an initial public offering (IPO), preclinical biotech company Sana Biotechnology announced Thursday terms for its IPO to raise $323 million.

The Seattle, Wash.-based biotech company says it will raise the funds by offering 15 million shares at $20 to $23 per share. Michelle Seitz, Chairman and CEO of Russell Investments, was recently appointed by the company as an independent director on the Board. BioSpace’s NextGen Bio “Class of 2021” recently named Sana Biotechnology as its top new life sciences companies to watch out for in 2021.

Under the terms of the newly announced IPO, Sana Biotechnology would command a market value of $4.0 billion at the midpoint of the proposed range. The recent filing of the $150 million IPO from Sana Biotechnology may not reflect the company’s likely market valuation, which experts expect to range between $9 billion and $12 billion.

The company plans to list itself on the Nasdaq under SANA. Joint bookrunners on the deal include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities. Sana Biotechnology expects to price during the week of February 1, 2021.

Prime focuses of startup company Sana Biotechnology include the development of in vivo and ex vivo cell engineering platforms licensed from Harvard University to discover novel treatments across several therapeutic areas that currently have unmet treatment needs. Therapeutic areas of particular interest to the company include oncology, diabetes, central nervous system (CNS) disorders, cardiovascular diseases and genetic disorders.

Currently, all of Sana Biotechnology’s candidates are in preclinical development, and Investigation New Drug (IND) applications are expected to be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration some time in 2022 and 2023.

“We are excited to have placed this important technology with Sana, a startup which has assembled a world-class team to advance the development of allogeneic (off-the-shelf) cell therapies,” said Harvard OTD’s Vivian Berlin, Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships, in a statement. “The company’s leadership, vision, and focus on scaled solutions give us confidence that this groundbreaking technology can be developed and deployed to the fullest extent possible for patients.”

In summer 2020, Sana Biotechnology raised up to $700 million in initial financing to advance its discovery and development initiatives. This financing round saw funds from several investors, including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Baillie Gifford, Alaska Permanent Fund, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Bezos Expeditions, GV, Omega Funds and Altitude Life Science Ventures, among other unnamed institutions.

Sana Biotechnology said that the initial $700 million funding went into a pool to support both IND-enabling and initial clinical studies for different treatment candidates, in addition to further expanding the company’s manufacturing capabilities and helping to buildout of its enabling technologies portfolio.

Back in October 2020, Sana Biotechnology acquired Oscine, a company focused on the development of disease-modifying or potentially curative cell therapies for brain and CNS diseases. The acquisition integrated Oscine’s glial progenitor cell program, in addition to other technologies, to expand on Sana Biotechnology’s broader technology platform and initiatives. Detailed financial terms of the merger were not initially described in the announcement of the deal.

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