Two biotechs this week topped the $100 million mark in their respective initial public offerings, both of which were able to offer more shares than planned. One, a company with nearly nine month’s-worth of revenue from a newly commercialized drug and the other, an early-clinical stage oncology drug developer, illustrate the range of biotech companies eliciting public investor interest this summer.
Inhibrx (NASDAQ: INBX), a biotech in La Jolla, CA, pulled in $119 million to advance its Phase 1 programs, which are evaluating single-domain antibodies the company has designed to treat cancer and rare diseases. The biotech offered 7 million shares—1 million more than anticipated—at $17 apiece, the midpoint of its range of $16 to $18.
Inhibrx first filed IPO paperwork in 2019 but later withdrew that application. Shares of Inhibrx closed at $20.63 Wednesday, the company’s the first day of trading, up 21 percent from the IPO price but below the opening trade of $22.10.
Harmony Biosciences (NASDAQ: HRMY) hauled in $128 million to fuel commercialization of its approved drug, the narcolepsy treatment pitolisant (Wakix), and to explore potential new indications for the small molecule drug. The company, which is based on the outskirts of Philadelphia, reported that the drug has accounted for net sales of $64 million since its launch last November. The treatment, approved last year for excessive daytime sleepiness in adults with the chronic sleeping disorder, is its first to reach the market—and the first alternative for patients that isn’t regulated as a controlled substance.
Harmony initially planned to offer 4.7 million shares at a range of $20 to $23. Instead it offered 5.3 million at $24. The company, in its prospectus, said it plans to test pitolisant as a treatment for children with narcolepsy and in patients with excessive daytime sleepiness associated with Prader-Willi syndrome and with myotonic dystrophy. It anticipates the fresh funds will carry it through clinical development for those indications.
However, in the event the drug receives the FDA’s go-ahead as a treatment for another classic narcolepsy symptom, cataplexy (sudden muscle weakness), Harmony will be on the hook for a $102 million milestone payment to Bioprojet, the French company from which it acquired the compound’s US rights. In that scenario, Harmony says it will need to raise more funds to support the planned clinical trials in other indications and, if successful, approval and commercialization.
Harmony’s stock price closed at $37.01 on the first day of trading, a 54 percent pop compared to its IPO price but below the opening trade of $39.99.
The pair of debuts come in a week in which a third biotech—preclinical-stage Kymera Therapeutics of Cambridge, MA—a medical imaging company, and three so-called “blank check” companies were also scheduled to go public. Research firm Renaissance Capital said Monday that the while the IPO market’s annual summer slowdown was setting in, this August has been its most active since 2013.
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