Specifically, earlier this morning, Replimune's (REPL) 6.7 mln share IPO priced at $15, the mid-point of the proposed price range, generating total gross proceeds of $100.5 mln. The IPO was led by JP Morgan, Leerink Partners, and BMO Capital Markets. The stock opened for trading this morning on the Nasdaq at $16
Replimune is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the field of oncolytic immunotherapy. The company strengthens the immune system against solid tumors with its proprietary Immulytic platform. The foundation of its platform aims to substantially increase anti-tumor activity of a proprietary, engineered strain of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) combined with a fusogenic therapeutic protein.
Oncolytic immunotherapy targets tumors by taking advantage of a virus’ natural replication ability. The virus is combined with agents that will induce an anti-tumor immune response. Oncolytic immunotherapy can be effective alone or in combination with other treatments.
Its lead product candidate is RP1, and it is currently in a Phase1/2 clinical trial with approximately 150 patients with a range of solid tumors. It has entered into a collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company under which it has granted it a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to, and is supplying at no cost, its anti-PD-1 therapy, nivolumab, for use in combination with RP1 in this clinical trial. BMS has no further development-related obligations under this collaboration. The first part of this clinical trial is underway in the United Kingdom and REPL intends to conduct the second part of the clinical trial, which will enroll patients with four solid tumor types, in both the United Kingdom and, pending the opening of an Investigational New Drug Application in the United States.
Replimune has also entered into a collaboration agreement with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) under which it intends to conduct clinical development of its product candidates in combination with cemiplimab, an anti-PD-1 therapy being developed by REGN. For each clinical trial conducted under this collaboration, REGN will fund one-half of the clinical trial costs, supply cemiplimab at no cost, and grant REPL a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to cemiplimab for use in the clinical trial.
Its two other product candidates are RP2 and RP3. RP2 has been engineered to express an antibody-like molecule that blocks the activity of CTLA-4, a protein that inhibits immune responses to tumors. RP3 aims to not only to block the activity of CTLA-4, but also to further stimulate an anti-tumor immune response through activation of the immune co-stimulatory pathways.
The company intends to file INDs and foreign equivalents for both RP2 and RP3 and, subject to regulatory approval, it expects that RP2 will enter clinical development in the first half of 2019, and that RP3 will enter clinical development in the first half of 2020.