Two Biotechs Gear Up for Nasdaq Debut
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Two weeks after announcing plans for initial public offerings, Gyroscope Therapeutics and Talaris Therapeutics have now set the terms for their debut on the Nasdaq. Both companies expect to secure more than $100 million from their IPOs.
London-based Gyroscope intends to sell up to 6,750,000 American Depositary Shares at a price range between $20 and $22 per share. That could net the company between $135 million and $148.5 million. Gyroscope said it will grant its underwriters the option of purchasing an additional 1,012,500 American Depository Shares at the IPO, which would make the offering higher. The company intends to sell its stock on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol VISN. Gyroscope’s IPO comes only two months after it raised $148 million in a Series C financing round to advance the development of its gene therapy candidates.
Gyroscope is advancing gene therapies for different eye diseases. In the prospectus it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last month, the company noted the success of gene therapies already on the market, including Spark Therapeutics’ Luxturna, which has been approved for a rare form of blindness caused by a genetic disease. Gyroscope’s lead gene therapy candidate is GT005, which is being developed for the treatment of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Earlier this year, Gyroscope announced positive interim Phase II data that showed the asset provided sustained increases in vitreous Complement Factor I (CFI) levels in the majority of patients. Additionally, the company said data from the FOCUS trial showed GT005 decreases in the downstream complement proteins associated with over-activation of the complement system. Those results were seen in both the GA patients who had rare variants in their CFI gene and those who did not, the company said.
Gyroscope’s leadership team is packed with experts in the field of ophthalmology. The company is helmed by Khurem Farooq, who previously served as the senior vice president of the immunology and ophthalmology business unit at Genentech. The company’s board of directors is also packed with notable experts in their fields, including Sean Bohen, former CMO of AstraZeneca and current CEO of Olema Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Kentucky-based Talaris Therapeutics set a price range of $16 to $18 per share. According to an updated filing with the SEC, Talaris intends to offer 8,825,000 shares of its common stock. The company will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TALS. With the IPO, Talaris should raise between $141.2 million and $158.85 million.
Like Gyroscope, Talaris is coming off a large Series B financing round. Seven months ago the company raised $115 million in a Series B financing round. Funds from that round, as well as the funds it will raise in the IPO, will be used to support development of its pipeline. Talaris’ lead asset FCR001 is an investigational allogeneic cell therapy aimed at living donor kidney transplant (LDKT) recipients. FCR001 was previously part of Novartis’ gene and cell therapy unit, until it was dissolved in 2016. The rights reverted back to Talaris, which at the time was known as Regenerex. Last year, after the company raised its Series B finances, Talaris CEO Scott Requadt told BioSpace that he sees FCR001 as a potential pipeline in a product, an experimental treatment that could have multiple uses across a number of indications. FCR001 has potential to help patients acquire or restore immune tolerance, which provides a number of opportunities for the drug.
In its prospectus, Talaris said it is enrolling 120 patients in the FREEDOM-1 study, which will assess FCR001 in LDKT recipients. The goal of the study is to evaluate FCR001 in patients who have received a kidney transplant to determine if the allogeneic therapy can induce durable, drug-free immune tolerance in the recipient. To be able to accomplish this is something of a “Holy Grail” for the transplant community, the company said. The study will build on positive Phase II data in LDKT recipients. In that study, 70% of patients who received the treatment were able to discontinue the use of immunosuppressant drugs.
In addition to kidney transplants, FCR001 is also being explored as a treatment for scleroderma, a multi-system autoimmune disease.