Immunotherapy Start-Up Juno Therapeutics: Upcoming Initial Public Offering (IPO)
It has been a busy 2014 for the Seattle-based immunotherapy start-up Juno Therapeutics (founded in 2013) :
• April 24th, completion of $176 million Series A round
• August 5th, close of $134 million Series B round
• September 22nd, named one of FierceBiotech’s 2014 Fierce 15
• November 13th, FDA Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for its lead product candidate JCAR015, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
• November 17th filing of a S-1 Form, with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
• November 24th, FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) for JCAR015 for the treatment of relapsed/refractory B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (r/r ALL)
• December 5th, announcement that the company enters into an agreement to get a license from Opus Bio for a CAR-T cell product candidate targeting CD22 (protein expressed on most B cell leukemias & lymphomas)
• December 8th, ASH (American Society of Hematology) Meeting presentations, showing significant outcomes in clinical trials with B-cell cancers.
Juno Therapeutics files on December 9th with the US SEC, Amendment No. 2 to the S-1 form. The company says that it will sell up to about 9.3 million shares of common stock at $15 – $18 per share, and expects to give its underwriters an option to buy about 1.4 million shares. According to the IPO tracker Renaissance Capital, the offering is expected to price the week of 12/15/14 and “at the midpoint of the expected range, Juno Therapeutics would command a fully diluted market value of nearly $1.5 billion, which would make it the largest biotech of 2014 by market cap.”
The underwriters are Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Leerink. The company plans to list on the NASDAQ under the symbol “JUNO”.
Per the December 9th Amendment No. 2 filing, the net proceeds are to be used as follows:
• $25 million to advance its lead product candidate JCAR015 through Phase II clinical trials & the filing of a FDA Biologics License Application (BLA) for relapsed/refractory B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (r/r ALL)
• $20 million to advance JCAR017 through Phase I/II clinical trials & potential registration trial in r/r Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
• $15 million to develop additional product candidates
• $30 million for research & development capabilities
• $20 million for manufacturing capabilities
• Remaining $s for working capital/general corporate purposes.
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