Editas Medicine
Audentes Therapeutics

Biotech Startups Hit the Ground Running, With Six Filing IPO Plans Today

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If we had to gamble on it, we’d bet the IPO market will be far more brisk this year than last year, which was the worst year for tech IPOs in particular since 2009.

Even still, it came as a bit of a surprise today when not one or three but five six biotech startups revealed plans to go public. (If you recall, biotech IPOs, which ticked along nicely for a couple of years, practically came to a standstill in the second half of last year.)

If you happened to miss the steady string of announcements — which, as Bloomberg notes, comes one week before JPMorgan Chase & Co’s big annual health care conference in San Francisco — here are the handful of companies that plan to test the IPO waters soon:

1.) Audentes Therapeutics. It’s a three-year-old, San Francisco-based  biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing gene therapy products for patients suffering from serious, life-threatening rare diseases caused by single gene defects. One of those diseases is myotubular myopathy, a degenerative muscular condition that afflicts almost exclusively males and kills one in every 50,000 newborns by the time they reach age two. The company plans to raise $86.3 million offering. As the San Francisco Business Times notes, Audentes first filed IPO plans confidentially in early November, about a month after it raised $65 million in a Series C funding. According to CrunchBase, it has raised roughly $138 million altogether, including from T. Rowe Price, Venrock, Sofinnova Ventures, and 5AM Ventures.

2.) Editas Medicine. Like Audentes (and many biotech startups to go public before it), this Cambridge, Ma.-based company is also awfully young at just two years old. What it does: develop treatments to modify disease-causing genetic defects. What it’s planning: to offer up to $100 million in stock. That’s less than what it has raised from private investors to date. According to CrunchBase, Editas has collected around $120 million from investors, including Flagship Ventures, Polaris Partners, and Third Rock Ventures. The Boston Globe has more here.

3.) Corvus Pharmaceuticals. Talk about young; this Burlingame, Ca.-based company is practically brand-new, having been founded in November 2014. But that’s not stopping it from attempting to raise $115 million in an IPO for its business, which is focused on the development and commercialization of immuno-oncology therapies that harness the immune system to attack cancer cells. Its plans aren’t as crazy as they sound, given the founding team comes from Pharmacyclics, an oncology drug company that was acquired by the research company AbbVie in March of last year for $21 billion. CrunchBase shows that Corvus has already raised around $108 million of private funding; some of its biggest shareholders are Adams Street Partners, Fidelity Management & Research, Denmark’s Novo A/S and OrbiMed.

4.) Reata Pharmaceuticals. Reata is an outlier here in that the Irving, Tex.-based company,  which is developing protein-based antioxidant inflammation modulators for life-threatening diseases, was founded way back in 2002. The company, which is looking to raise $80 million in an IPO, has also raised a lot more from investors than the others. According to CrunchBase, it has attracted $434 million in backing, including from  biggest shareholders AbbVie, CPMG, and Novo A/S.

5.) Syndax Pharmaceuticals. This 10-year-old, Waltham, Ma.-based company is looking to raise $86.3 million in an IPO. That’s not much more than the  clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company announced in late August, when it raised $80 million in Series C funding led by Fidelity Management & Research Company and Delos Capital Fund. At this point, the company, which is developing an entinostat (a cancer inhibitor) as a combination therapy, has raised around $181 million altogether. Worth noting: it originally set terms in June 2014 to raise $60 million but withdrew its offering. Xconomy had written a story about why here.

Update: We’re realizing we missed a sixth filing when we originally posted this story. Bavarian Nordic, a 23-year-old, Denmark-based company at work on vaccines to prevent life-threatening infectious diseases and to treat cancer, has filed an F-1 form with the SEC. It plans to raise up to $86.25 million.

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