Biotechs Hit the Ground Running

SyndaxIf 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 yesterday when not one or three but 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.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.

More here.

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