Surface Oncology’s Upsized IPO Reels In $108M for Lead Cancer Drug

Xconomy Boston — 

Surface Oncology has raised $108 million from an initial public offering to finance clinical testing of its lead cancer immunotherapy.

Cambridge, MA-based Surface priced its offering of 7.2 million shares at $15 each. The company had previously planned to sell 6 million shares in the range of $13 to $15 per share. Those shares are expected to begin trading Thursday on the Nasdaq under the stock symbol “SURF.”

In addition to the IPO proceeds, Surface raised another $11.5 million through the sale of 766,666 shares to Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research at the IPO price. The Novartis (NYSE: NVS) unit has been involved with Surface since its early days and was among the investors in the company’s $35 million Series A round of financing in 2015.

Surface develops drugs to block a protein that is overabundant on the surface of tumors. This protein, CD47, helps tumors fight off attack from immune cells. In preclinical research, Surface reported that macrophages, a type of immune cell, showed greater tumor-destroying activity in the drug’s presence.

A Phase 1 test of lead Surface drug SRF231 began in February, enrolling patients with multiple tumor types. Surface says in its filing that it plans to test the drug on its own, as well as in combination with approved cancer therapies. The company expects to report initial results from the study in the first half of next year.

In addition to its lead drug, Surface’s pipeline includes another compound, SRF373. That drug targets a different protein, CD73. Novartis has licensed worldwide rights to that drug, which is expected to begin clinical testing later this year.

In other IPO news, MorphoSys (NASDAQ: MOR) raised $208 million from its offering. According to Renaissance Capital, the Germany-based company is the largest biotech to go public in the U.S. in more than a decade. MorphoSys says in its filing that it has 28 drug candidates in its pipeline, the most advanced of which is in late-stage studies testing it in a form of lymphoma.