So far this year four privately held companies have made the transition to trading on the public markets.
By month’s end, five more are anticipated to join the class of 2020 initial public offerings—and four of those are in life sciences, according to IPO research firm Renaissance Capital.
Two are clinical-stage biotechs: Cambridge, MA-based Black Diamond Therapeutics, which is looking to raise $151 million, and Westlake Village, CA-based Arcutis Biotherapeutics, which aims to add $125 million.
Cancer drug developer Black Diamond filed IPO paperwork with regulators on Jan. 7 detailing its plans to use to the cash to finance Phase 1/2 tests of its lead drug candidate in patients with bladder cancer, endometrial cancer, and other solid tumors, and advance preclinical development of a drug for glioblastoma, an aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer.
Arcutis is developing topical creams and foams to treat dermatological diseases. The company’s lead candidate, ARQ-151, is in Phase 3 clinical trials as a treatment for plaque psoriasis, a condition that causes skin to develop discolored, raised patches that can be itchy and painful.
Arcutis says it plans to use its IPO cash to further the development of ARQ-151, a cream, in plaque psoriasis, and into a Phase 2b trial for atopic dermatitis, an itchy inflammation of the skin. The company also plans to use the funds to further develop its early clinical-stage programs: ARQ-154, a foam to treat seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis, and ARQ-252, a cream for hand eczema.
Since its June 2016 launch the company has raised more than $160 million, including a $94.5 million Series C round of financing last October. Its largest outside stockholder is Frazier Life Sciences, which owns 36.9 percent of its stock; OrbiMed and Bain Capital Life Sciences own 15.1 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively, according to its prospectus.
The two other companies preparing to IPO are 1Life Healthcare—the name for the San Francisco-based company that oversees 77 One Medical health clinics—and Avadim Health, an Asheville, NC-based company looking to raise $75 million to advance its business that develops and sells topical products for immune, muscular, and skin health. 1Life is targeting $262 million.
All four companies are looking to list on the Nasdaq exchange.