Two IPOs Raise $476 Million to Advance Therapies for Rare Cancers
July 10, 2020
Taking advantage of a strong market for biotech IPOs, two companies developing treatments for rare cancers priced bumped up IPOs to raise almost a half billion dollars to advance their programs.
These companies join 10 other rare disease focused biotechs that raised $1.9 billion in initial public offerings during the first half of 2020, including six that raised more than $200 million in their IPO.
Poseida Therapeutics uses a gene engineering platform technology to develop allogeneic and autologous CAR-T product candidates in both hematological and solid tumor oncology indications, as well as liver-directed gene therapy programs in orphan genetic diseases. It’s lead therapeutic candidate is an autologous CAR-T cell therapy in phase 2 trials to treat the rare hematological cancer multiple myeloma.
Poseida raised $224 million in an initial public offering of 14 million shares of common stock at $16 a share. The company had previously filed to offer 10 million shares at a range of $14 to $16 a share. The new capital tops off a $110 million private funding that closed just two weeks before the IPO. Poseida will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “PSTX.” Underwriters of the offering have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 2.1 million shares at the IPO price.
Preclinical biotech Nkarta Therapeutics raised $252 million through an offering of 14 million shares of common stock at $18 a share, above its offer price range of $16 to $17. The company had previously filed to offer 10 million shares at a range of $14 to $16. Nkarta will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “NKTX,” and underwriters of the offering have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 2.1 million shares at the IPO price.
Nkarta is focused on off-the-shelf NK cell therapies targeting cancer. The company combines its natural killer (NK) cell expansion and cryopreservation platform with proprietary cell engineering technologies to generate an abundant supply of NK cells, engineer enhanced NK cell recognition of tumor targets, and improve persistence for sustained activity in the body for the treatment of cancer. The company’s lead candidate is being developed to target the rare cancers acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma; and the more common hepatocellular carcinoma and metastatic colorectal cancer.
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