LogicBio Therapeutics has joined the list of biotechs to go public this year but it had to cut the price of its IPO and sell more shares to pull it off.
The Cambridge, MA, biotech priced its offering of 7 million shares at $10 apiece, raising $70 million to back human tests of its experimental gene therapy for a rare liver disorder. LogicBio had planned to sell 5.7 million shares for between $12 and $14 each. The company’s shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Friday under the stock symbol “LOGC.”
LogicBio aims to improve upon gene therapies that are already available or are currently in clinical testing by using a gene-editing technique called homologous recombination, the company says in its prospectus. By using this naturally occurring DNA repair process, LogicBio says that the genetic material it inserts into the genome remains stable as cells divide and grow. The approach does not require gene editing technology that employs enzymes to cut DNA, meaning it may be able to avoid some unwanted and potentially dangerous genetic modifications. The LogicBio technology, dubbed GeneRide, is based on intellectual property licensed from Stanford University and the University of Texas System.
LogicBio isn’t alone testing medicines that harness homologous recombination. Homology Medicines (NASDAQ: FIXX) is preparing to start human testing of its lead gene therapy, an experimental treatment for the rare metabolic disorder phenylketonuria. The Lexington, MA, company went public earlier this year, raising $144 million to finance a Phase 1/2 clinical trial.
LogicBio’s first target is methylmalonic acidemia (MMA), a rare inherited liver disease that renders patients unable to process certain fats and proteins. MMA symptoms include vomiting, dehydration, weak muscles, and developmental delays. The disease has no FDA-approved treatments and is typically managed by diet and antibiotics, though in serious cases, patients may need a liver transplant. The LogicBio therapy, LB-001, was developed help MMA patients produce a protein that they lack. The company expects to start a Phase 1/2 study testing the treatment by the end of next year.
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