Four biotechnology companies were looking to raise a combined $303.9 million starting on Thursday as they announced Wednesday the pricings of their initial public offerings.
The companies – NextCure, Milestone Pharmaceuticals, Cortexyme and Axcella Health – all said Wednesday that they would begin trading on the Nasdaq Thursday, with their offerings expected to close Monday. BioPharmCatalyst, a biotech and healthcare investor website, had listed the companies as expected to begin trading Wednesday.
NextCure, based in Beltsville, Maryland, said Wednesday that it had priced its IPO of 5 million shares at $15 each. Montreal-based Milestone said it had priced its 5.5 million share IPO also at $15 per share. Cortexyme, based in South San Francisco, California, priced its 4.4 million share offering at $17 per share. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Axcella is pricing its 3.5 million share offering at $20 per share. NextCure is expecting to raise $75 million, while Milestone expects to raise $82.5 million. Axcella is expecting to raise $71.4 million, while Cortexyme’s offering would add up to gross proceeds of $75 million.
Despite belonging to the same sector and issuing their initial public offerings on the same day, the four companies are all involved in different therapeutic areas. NextCure is developing cell therapies, with a particular focus on oncology, including one program in clinical development. Milestone’s focus is on cardiovascular disease, and it currently has one product candidate, etripamil, in a Phase III clinical trial for paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia. Cortexyme has a drug, COR388, which targets Porphyromonas gingivalis, a type of bacteria found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, and is currently in Phase II/III clinical development. Axcella plans to develop AXA1665 as a drug candidate in the liver disease hepatic encephalopathy, having already performed non-IND clinical studies.
In December, Moderna had the largest initial public offering in the history of biotech companies, raising $604.3 million, compared with the $500 million that it initially sought to raise. The IPO followed a $500 million Series G funding round in February that valued the company at $7 billion. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is focused on discovery and development of therapeutics and vaccines based on messenger RNA.
Photo: jxfzsy, Getty Images