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Alector kicks off next wave of biotech IPOs

US biotech raising money again

alector

The US government shutdown of 35 days had deterred new IPOs in biotech, but market launches have now resumed with immune-neurology specialists Alector.

The San Francisco-based company floated on the Nasdaq yesterday, raising $176m and hitting its forecast market capitalisation of $1.3 bn.

Alector is pioneering immuno-neurology, a novel therapeutic that will treat a range of degenerative brain disorders by restoring healthy immune function to the brain.

Rosenthal

Arnon Rosenthal

Arnon Rosenthal, an ex-Genentech researcher, is the company’s co-founder and chief executive, and says its discovery platform combination of insights from human genetics and immunology can overcome disappointments seen in neurology, most especially in Alzheimer’s disease.

Its initial focus is on frontotemporal dementia (AL001 entering phase 1 trials in September) and Alzheimer’s disease, AL002 also entering phase 1 in December.

Hot on Alector’s heels is Stealth BioTherapeutics, which is aiming to raise $81 million, capital it will put towards its late-phase candidates which target mitochondria dysfunction.

In December the Boston-based company gained a valuable FDA fast track designation for its lead candidate, elamipretide, a treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), for which there are currently no licensed treatments.

A third IPO expected this week is from Gossamer, a San Diego-based biotech specialising in in-licensing molecules in immunology, inflammation and oncology.

The company is led by Faheem Hasnain and Sheila Gujrathi, two former execs from Receptos - the company bought out by Celgene four years ago for $7.2bn.

Its plans had also been disrupted by the government shutdown, but is now on track again, and hopes to raise $276m from its stock flotation today.

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

8th February 2019

From: Marketing

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