interesting company imho:
UPDATED: Legend fetches $424 million, emerges as biggest winner yet in pandemic IPO boom as shares soar
a flurry of splashy pandemic IPOs, a J&J-partnered Chinese biotech
has emerged with one of the largest public raises in biotech history.
Biotech, the Nanjing-based CAR-T developer, has raised $424 million on
NASDAQ. The biotech had originally filed for a still-hefty $350 million,
based on a range of $18-$20, but managed to fetch $23 per share,
allowing them to well-eclipse the massive raises from companies like
Allogene, Juno, Galapagos, though they’ll still fall a few dollars short
of Moderna’s record-setting $600 million raise from 2018.
It didn’t stop there. Its shares rocketed up more than 60% on its first day of trading.
almost unprecedented windfall comes as investors, searching for havens
in a virus-stricken economy, have poured money in biotech stocks,
driving up the price of companies developing Covid-19 treatments and
vaccines and allowing obscure biotechs such as Zentalis and Applied
Molecular Therapeutics to raise over $150 million in IPOs.
burst from obscurity three years ago at ASCO, with early data showing a
100% response rate and a more than 40% complete response rate from
their BCMA-targeting CAR-T cells. Skeptics quickly pounced. An obscure
short attack questioning their data integrity came soon after. Bluebird
bio’s Nick Leschly, shrugged off the data, suggesting that Legend’s
patients weren’t as sick as the patients being treated by the Cambridge
biotech’s ide-cell CAR–T.
J&J, though, was impressed and
silenced some skeptics with a $350-million upfront deal later that year
for the rights to its lead CAR-T therapy outside of China and a few
Asian markets. The data has since helped support the initial hype. Five
months ago, they reported a 100% response rate and a 69% complete
response rate on 29 patients who had undergone five prior lines of
Based on that trial, they selected a dose to take
forward, and although bluebird and its partner Bristol Myers Squibb
initially had the leg up on regulatory review, the pair were immediately
hit hard with a “refuse-to-file” from the FDA. Bluebird’s long-running
CMC issues appeared to be the culprit, and the companies are now working
on a new application.
Legend has already received $110 million
from J&J and they have another $1.2 billion in milestones ahead,
much of which will come whether or not the therapy ultimately sells.
They can get $125 million from manufacturing, another $105 million from
more development, and another $800 million through regulatory markers.
least one man already has a fair bit to celebrate. Legend started as a
subsidiary of Genscript, and CEO Fangliang Zhang controlled 34 million
shares entering the IPO. Those are now worth $782 million.