However, there is another, smaller healthcare-related IPO that also drew impressive demand. Before the open today, biopharmaceutical company Synthorx (THOR) priced its up-sized 11.9 mln (from 9.1 mln) share IPO at $11, also the mid-point of the $10-$12 expected range. In total, the IPO generated $130.9 mln in gross proceeds, about $30 mln more than anticipated.
Considering the healthy demand that both MRNA and THOR generated -- as well as Axonics Moduation (AXNX) and Orchard Therapeutics (ORTX) before it -- it's safe to say that investors are still quite enthusiastic about pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and biotech IPOs. In fact, that's a theme that can be traced back to last year.
Circling back to THOR's IPO, the lead underwriters on the deal were Jefferies, Leerink Partners, and Evercore ISI. While MRNA opened at $22 instead of $23, THOR opened at $15.40 instead of $11.
Synthorx (THOR) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on prolonging and improving the lives of people with cancer and autoimmune disorders. Their platform technology aims to expand the genetic code by adding a new DNA base pair and is designed to create optimized biologics, which they refer to as Synthorins.
Synthorx’s lead product candidate, THOR-707, is a variant of IL-2 designed to kill tumor cells by increasing CD8+ T and natural killer (NK) cells without causing vascular leak syndrome (VLS) observed with approved recombinant IL-2 (aldesleukin). The company plans to file an investigational new drug application for THOR-707 in the second quarter of 2019 and thereafter initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in multiple tumor types as a single agent and in combination with an immune checkpoint inhibitor.
In the first nine months of this year, Synthorx’s net loss widened to $28.45 mln from a net loss of $3.66 mln in the year earlier period, helped in part by a more than 300% increase in R&D expenses. As of September 30, the company had $20.6 mln of cash on hand. In early November, Synthorx raised $37 mln through the sale of Series C convertible preferred stock. The group believes that following the IPO, it will have sufficient capital to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through at least the next 12 months.