RARE Daily

Two Biotechs Go Public Raising $459 Million to Advance Rare Disease Therapies

June 12, 2020

Investor appetite for biopharmaceutical companies continues to be strong as two preclinical rare disease drug developers added their names to the growing list of life sciences IPOs in 2020.

Generation Bio and Avidity Biosciences made their debut in the public markets with a pair of initial public offerings that raised a combined $459 million.

Generation Bio raised $200 million in an upsized IPO, through an offering of 10.5 million shares at $19 a share. Generation Bio is developing a non-viral gene therapy platform that overcomes the immunogenicity associated with viral-vector gene therapies, which has historically limited the number of patients that can be treated and prevented re-dosing. Its preclinical pipeline targets genetic diseases of the retina, central nervous system, and lungs. The company’s lead program addresses rare lung diseases.

Avidity Biosciences raised $259 million in an upsized IPO, through an offering of 14.4 million shares at $18 a share. Avidity is developing antibody-oligonucleotide conjugates (AOCs) for the treatment of rare muscle disorders and other serious diseases. AOCs combine the tissue selectivity of monoclonal antibodies and the precision of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics to enable more effective targeting of tissues, such as skeletal muscle, immune cells, and heart. The company’s lead research program addresses myotonic dystrophy type 1, a disease with no approved treatment options.

According to data gathered by Rare Daily, there have been 26 life sciences companies completing IPOs in the United States in 2020 so far. They have raised $5.6 billion with shares trading 69.7 percent above their IPO price.

And rare disease drug developers make up eight, or more than one quarter, of these companies. Collectively, they have raised $1.2 billion to advance their programs, and their shares are trading 68.5 percent above their IPO price.


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