RARE Daily

Two Rare Disease Biotechs Hit the Market in Upsized IPOs

February 5, 2021

Three companies developing drugs for orphan diseases raised a combined $930 million in initial public offerings during a sizzling week with 11 therapeutics companies raising more than $2 billion in IPOs.

Danish biotech Pharvaris and Vor Biopharma followed on the heels of Sana Biotechnologies’ $588 million IPO, adding a combined $342 million to their coffers in upsized IPOs.

Pharvaris develops small molecule bradykinin-B2-receptor antagonists for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE) and other bradykinin-B2-receptor-mediated indications. The company priced an upsized initial public offering of 8.3 million shares at $20.00 per share, for total gross proceeds of approximately $165.4 million. It had originally planned to raise $125 million by offering 7 million shares in a range of $17 to $19 a share.

In addition, Pharvaris has granted the underwriters a 30-day over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 1.2 million shares at the public offering price less underwriting discounts and commissions. Shares will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “PHVS.”

HAE is a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic condition with symptoms that include episodes of debilitating and often painful swelling in the hands, feet, face (lips and tongue), gastrointestinal tract, and the urogenital region or airways. Attacks are unpredictable in frequency, location, timing, and severity, with multiple types of triggers.

Pharvaris is advancing new alternatives to injected therapies for all sub-types of HAE and other bradykinin-mediated diseases. It’s first product candidate, PHVS416, is a potent, orally available bradykinin B2-receptor antagonist designed to block the effects of bradykinin during HAE attacks. Bradykinin is a peptide that becomes elevated in HAE attacks and causes pain and swelling. The company expects to begin a phase 2 placebo-controlled on-demand study of PHVS416 in HAE patients this year.

Vor Biopharma raised $177 million in an upsized IPO of 9.8 million shares of its common stock at $18.00 per share. The company had originally planed to offer 8.8 million shares priced in a range of $16 to $18 per share. Vor has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.5 million shares of its common stock at the initial public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions. Shares of Vor will trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “VOR.”

Vor is a preclinical cell therapy company pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cell (eHSC) therapies combined with targeted therapies for the treatment of hematological cancers. Founded by renowned doctor and author Siddhartha Mukherjee and PureTech Health, Vor’s technology removes biologically redundant proteins from eHSC therapies to create next-generation, treatment-resistant transplants that unlock the potential of targeted therapies, enabling these therapies to selectively destroy cancerous cells while sparing healthy cells.

In SEC filings, Vor said it would use the proceeds from the IPO to advance its pipeline that includes programs for AML and myelodysplastic syndromes, and a genetically engineered stem cell transplant program designed to make the CAR-T safer.


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