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AnaptysBio Adds More Shares, Raises $75M in Stock Market Debut

Xconomy San Diego — 

AnaptysBio is the first U.S. biotech company to go public this year, raising $75 million in an IPO intended to finance development of antibody-based drugs for inflammatory disorders.

The San Diego-based company sold 5 million shares at $15 apiece—in line with the $14 to $16 per share range it set earlier this month—and is now trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “ANAB.” Anaptys also sold 1 million more shares that it had initially planned.

As has been the case for biotechs over the past year, insiders helped Anaptys get to the public market. Stockholders who had invested in the company earlier indicated interest in buying up to $30 million of Anaptys’s shares at the IPO price, according to an SEC filing. Those stockholders would have a large enough stake in Anaptys—more than 66 percent combined—to control the company even if they do not purchase the additional shares. (AnaptysBio’s largest shareholders include Frazier Healthcare, Novo A/S, and Avalon Ventures, according to filings.)

Anaptys develops antibody-based drugs using technology that it says can replicate the body’s natural process of producing antibodies. The company has partnerships with Waltham, MA-based Tesaro (NASDAQ: TSRO) in cancer immunotherapy and Summit, NJ-based Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) in inflammation. Those partnerships are still in the early stages of clinical testing.

Besides those partnerships, Anaptys has been pursuing its own drug programs. ANB020 is an antibody drug candidate that has completed Phase 1 clinical trials as a potential treatment for moderate-to-severe eczema; severe peanut allergy; and adult eosinophilc asthma, a type of asthma characterized by high levels of a type of white blood cells in the airways. Anaptys is preparing to start Phase 1 clinical trials this year with another drug candidate, ANB019. That drug has potential applications in rare inflammatory diseases, such as generalized pustular psoriasis and palmo-plantar pustular psoriasis.

In its prospectus, Anaptys said that it would apply $25 million of the IPO proceeds toward clinical trials of ANB020 and ANB019. The company plans to use $15 million to discover and develop other drug candidates.

Anaptys is one of two biotech companies to go public this week, according to IPO research firm Renaissance Capital. ObsEva, a Switzerland-based company developing reproductive health and pregnancy drugs, also made its Nasdaq debut today after raising $97 million in an IPO.

Photo by Caitlin O. Bigelow.