Against a backdrop of general economic uncertainty bolstered in part by a strong biopharma market, two IPOs launched June 19 and ended their first trading day well above their high-end asking prices.
Repare Therapeutics Inc., which identifies synthetic lethal precision oncology targets for drug candidates, and Forma Therapeutics Holdings Inc., which is developing therapeutics to treat rare hematologic diseases and cancers, launched IPOs with an anticipated combined value of $497.6 million in gross proceeds.
So far this year, 21 global IPOs have been completed, bringing in a combined total of $3.68 billion.
Shares of Cambridge, Mass., and Montreal-based Repare (NASDAQ:RPTX) gained 54% to close at $30.80 on Friday.
The company initially intended to sell 7.3 million common shares at $16 to $18 each but upped the ante Friday by pricing 11 million common shares at the high end of the adjusted $18 to $20 range. Gross proceeds are expected to be about $220 million.
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Cowen and Piper Sandler & Co. were joint book-running managers for Repare’s offering, which is set to close June 23.
Repare has been busy lately. On May 27, in a deal that could eventually total $3 billion, the company entered a research collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb Inc. (BMS) to identify synthetic lethal precision oncology targets for drug candidates. Repare is eligible to receive about $3 billion in license fees, discovery, development, regulatory and sales-based milestones. The company is also set to receive from BMS an up-front payment of $65 million, including a $15 million equity investment. Royalty payments on net sales of all products that BMS commercializes in the deal could also go to Repare.
In exchange, BMS received exclusive worldwide rights for developing and commercializing selected oncology targets discovered in in the collaboration. Both companies will use Repare’s CRISPR/Cas9-based chemogenomic screening platform, SNIPRx, to identify the targets. The platform uses isogenic cells lines to identify genomic alterations, including DNA damage repair, and then matches the patients with a therapy based on the tumor’s genetic profile.
The company also has a Polθ inhibitor program that is in the lead generation phase targeting the cancer risk gene BRCA. In June 2017, a series A worth $68 million helped Repare launch its R&D into ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related kinase, a master DNA damage response regulator. Last September, Repare raised $82.5 million in a series B.
Watertown, Mass.-based Forma (NASDAQ:FMTX) offered 13.8 million shares at $20 each and expects gross proceeds to be about $277.6 million. The stock nearly doubled as it ended the day 95% higher at $39 per share.
Jefferies, SVB Leerink and Credit Suisse are joint book-running managers for the offering, which is also set to close June 23.
Forma’s lead candidate is FT-4202, a selective RBC pyruvate kinase-R activator for treating sickle cell disease. It is currently in a randomized, double-blind phase I trial that includes healthy volunteers and sickle cell disease patients. This month, the company said results from the sickle cell disease patient arm in the ongoing study demonstrated favorable tolerability and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic effects. Patients are given a single ascending dose and multiple ascending doses. The FDA gave FT-4202 fast track designation and rare pediatric disease designation in February. It received the FDA’s orphan drug designation in April. The study’s estimated completion date is September.
Forma is also in preclinical development with FT-7051, an inhibitor of CREB-binding protein/E1A binding protein p300, for treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Inhibiting CBP/p300 can suppress AR and AR-v7 driven transcription of genes that drive prostate cancer cell growth.
The company completed a series D financing in December, bringing in $100 million, with Forma pledging to use the money to support the ongoing development of FT-4202 and FT-7501.