23andMe, EQRx Lead IPO Rush in 2021


2021-12-21 22:00:07 BioSpace


The year 2021 saw dozens upon dozens of biopharma companies taking the step to become publicly traded entities and generate hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the research and development of experimental medications. The year kicked off with a bang as multiple companies raced to a public listing. Leading the way was TCR2 Therapeutics, which secured $140 million to support the development of novel T-cell therapies for solid tumors and hematological cancers. While $140 million is certainly a respectable amount, that number falls far short of some of the biggest IPOs of the year. In the first half of the year, there were numerous reverse mergers between life sciences companies and special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs). Perhaps the largest of these SPAC deals in 2021 was the merger between 23andMe and VG Acquisition Corp., which raised approximately $592 million in gross proceeds. The funds were earmarked to support 23andMe’s genetic and phenotypic database, which has accelerated personalized healthcare, as well as the new drug development efforts that are building on its relationship with GlaxoSmithKline. The deal gave the company a $3.5 billion valuation. Another SPAC deal bolstering a company’s bank account was the merger between EQRx, which launched last year, and CM Life Sciences III, Inc. The deal provided EQRx with an immediate $1.8 billion in cash that will be used to advance development of the company’s pipeline. EQRx has a pipeline of more than 10 programs, including two oncology products that have shown promising Phase III data. One of the biggest IPOs of the year goes to Utah-based Recursion Pharmaceuticals, which raised more than half-a-billion dollars in its IPO. Recursion, which is harnessing the power of its Recursion Operating System, raised $501.8 million for all options were exercised. That final number dwarfed the initial $306 million the company expected to bring in. Following closely behind Recursion’s massive raise, was Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. South San Francisco-based Lyell raised $425 million to support the development of its T-cell therapies. The company is on track to submit four Investigational New Drug applications by the end of 2022. Lyell’s focus is addressing barriers that limit consistent and curative responses to adoptive T cell therapy, T cell exhaustion and lack of durable stemness. Dallas-based Instil Bio brought in a Texas-sized sum in its March IPO. The cell therapy company raised $368 million to support the development of its autologous TIL therapies. Instil’s lead candidate, ITIL-168, is being assessed in a Phase II study as a potential treatment of advanced melanoma. It is also being studied for its potential against other solid tumors. The company is also advancing ITIL-306, a next-generation, genetically engineered TIL therapy for multiple solid tumors. In November, Shanghai-based LianBio nabbed $325 million in its IPO. The company is developing a diverse portfolio of investigational therapeutics aimed at multiple indications, including respiratory, oncology, ophthalmology and inflammatory diseases. LianBio’s assets are being developed for the Asian market. Two of these assets are in late-stage development, one for cardiovascular disease and the other in oncology. Another pharma company that raised more than $300 million in its IPO is California-based Caribou Biosciences, which secured $304 million. Caribou is using the proceeds to develop its CRISPR-based gene therapies. Caribou is developing a pipeline of genome-edited, off-the-shelf CAR-T and CAR-NK cell therapies for the treatment of both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. The therapies target cell surface antigens for which autologous CAR-T cell therapeutics have previously demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept as well as additional emerging targets. Other companies that nabbed more than $300 million included Adagio Therapeutics, which raised $318 million to support antibody-based therapies for infectious diseases, and Erasca, Inc., which raised $345 million. Erasca takes its name from its mission, “Erase Cancer.” The company is developing therapies for patients with RAS/MAPK pathway-driven cancers. Also crossing the $300 million barrier was Cambridge, Mass.-based Verve Therapeutics, which raised $306.7 million. Funds are supporting development of gene therapies for cardiovascular diseases. Centessa Pharmaceuticals, which launched at the beginning of the year following the merger of 10 private biotech companies, raced to the NASDAQ by early summer. In June, the company announced it had secured $379.5 million in its IPO. That came four months after the company raised $250 million in a Series A financing round. Although the number of companies racing to go public slowed in the last quarter of the year, with 2022 on the horizon, biopharma companies could be champing at the bit to test the waters and file for an IPO or seek a SPAC merger.
2021年,数十家生物制药公司迈出了成为公开交易实体的步伐,并产生了数亿美元来资助实验性药物的研发。 随着多家公司竞相上市,这一年以轰轰烈烈的一幕拉开了序幕。领先的是TCR2治疗学,该公司获得了1.4亿美元,用于支持实体瘤和血液系统癌症的新型T细胞疗法的开发。虽然1.4亿美元无疑是一个可观的数额,但这个数字远远低于今年一些最大的IPO。 今年上半年,生命科学公司和特殊目的收购公司之间发生了大量的反向合并。2021年这些SPAC交易中最大的一笔可能是23andMe和VG收购公司之间的合并,筹集了约5.92亿美元的总收益。这些资金被指定用于支持23andMe的遗传和表型数据库,该数据库加快了个性化医疗保健,以及基于其与葛兰素史克关系的新药开发努力。这笔交易给了该公司35亿美元的估值。 另一项支持公司银行账户的SPAC交易是去年启动的EQRx和CM Life Sciences III,Inc.之间的合并。这笔交易立即为EQRx提供了18亿美元的现金,将用于推进公司管道的发展。EQRx有超过10个项目的管道,包括两个已经显示出有希望的三期数据的肿瘤学产品。 今年最大的IPO之一是总部位于犹他州的递归制药公司,该公司在IPO中筹集了超过5亿美元。Recursion正在利用其递归操作系统的强大功能,为所有期权的行使筹集了5.018亿美元。这一最终数字使该公司最初预计的3.06亿美元相形见绌。 紧随递归公司大规模融资之后的是莱尔免疫制药公司。总部位于旧金山南部的莱尔公司筹集了4.25亿美元来支持其T细胞疗法的开发。该公司有望在2022年底前提交四份研究性新药申请。莱尔的重点是解决限制对过继性T细胞治疗的一致和治疗反应的障碍,T细胞衰竭和缺乏持久的stension。 总部位于达拉斯的Instil Bio在3月份的首次公开募股中获得了德克萨斯州规模的资金。这家细胞治疗公司筹集了3.68亿美元来支持其自体TIL疗法的开发。INSTIL的主要候选药物,ITIL-168,正在一项II期研究中被评估为晚期黑色素瘤的潜在治疗方法。它还在研究其对抗其他实体瘤的潜力。该公司还在推进ITIL-306,这是一种下一代的、基因工程的治疗多发性实体瘤的TIL疗法。 去年11月,总部位于上海的联生物在IPO中获得了3.25亿美元。该公司正在开发针对多种适应症的多种研究疗法组合,包括呼吸系统、肿瘤学、眼科和炎症性疾病。联生物的资产正在为亚洲市场开发。其中两项资产处于后期开发阶段,一项用于心血管疾病,另一项用于肿瘤学。 另一家在IPO中融资超过3亿美元的制药公司是总部位于加州的驯鹿生物科学公司,该公司获得了3.04亿美元。Caribou正在利用收益开发基于CRISPR的基因疗法。Caribou正在开发一系列基因组编辑的、现成的CAR-T和CAR-NK细胞疗法,用于治疗血液系统恶性肿瘤和实体瘤。这些疗法的靶点是细胞表面抗原,自体CAR-T细胞疗法此前已经证明了临床概念验证以及其他新出现的靶点。 其他融资超过3亿美元的公司包括Adagio Therapeutics,该公司筹集了3.18亿美元用于支持基于抗体的传染病治疗,以及Erasca公司,该公司筹集了3.45亿美元。Erasca的名字来源于它的使命“消除癌症”,该公司正在为RAS/MAPK通路驱动的癌症患者开发治疗方法。总部位于马萨诸塞州剑桥的Verve Therapeutics也跨过了3亿美元的大关,该公司筹集了3.067亿美元。基金正在支持心血管疾病基因疗法的发展。 Centessa Pharmaceuticals于今年年初上市,此前10家私营生物技术公司合并,该公司在初夏前迅速登陆纳斯达克。今年6月,该公司宣布已在IPO中获得3.795亿美元。四个月前,该公司在a轮融资中筹集了2.5亿美元。 尽管随着2022年的临近,今年最后一个季度竞相上市的公司数量放缓,但生物制药公司可能急于试水,申请首次公开募股或寻求SPAC合并。