RARE Daily

Foghorn Raises $120 Million in IPO as Rare Disease Biotechs Top $4 Billion in 2020 Initial Public Offerings

October 23, 2020

Foghorn Raises $120 Million in IPO as Rare Disease Biotechs Top $4 Billion in 2020 Initial Public Offerings

Foghorn Therapeutics became the 22nd rare disease drug developer to complete an initial public offering in 2020, raising $120 million in an initial public offering, pricing 7.5 million shares of its common stock at $16.00 per share.

Foghorn’s IPO brings the total raised in 2020 IPOs by rare disease focused biotechs to $4.1 billion, compared to an average $1.5 billion raised through IPOs by these companies in the past couple of years.

Foghorn’s shares will trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “FHTX.” Foghorn also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.125 million shares at the initial public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions.

Foghorn will use the proceeds to discover and develop drugs using its proprietary Gene Traffic Control product platform, which is based on novel insights into the chromatin regulatory system, a way of regulating which genes are turned on and off.

The company likens the chromatin regulatory system to an air traffic control system, directing where, when, in what order, and to what extent genes are expressed in the body. Breakdowns in this Gene Traffic Control system are a major and unexplored cause of cancer and other serious diseases. Foghorn said its proprietary platform makes it possible, for the first time, to understand how chromatin regulation malfunctions and to make drugs to correct it when it does.

With a therapeutic approach that is expected to have applications in a number of rare diseases, Foghorn has developed new insights, and rapidly advanced more than 10 programs. The company’s lead candidates are being developed for hematologic cancers and solid tumors, with plans to file an application to begin human clinical trials in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first half of 2021.

This year has been a stellar one for IPOs for biotech drug developers, and an equally strong year for rare disease drug developers. Foghorn’s IPO marks the 64th IPO for therapeutics companies so far this year and the 22nd for a company developing medicines for rare diseases. As a group, the 64 drug developers have raised $11.2 billion so far this year, with $4.1 billion of that raised by the 22 developers of rare disease therapies.

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