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Orchard surpasses IPO expectations, raising $200m

Funds will progress rare disease portfolio


Orchard Therapeutics, the UK-based gene therapy company, launched on Nasdaq late last week, raising $200m from an IPO.

Priced at $14 per share, the final figure exceeded initial expectations of $173m, and with a host of plans in the pipeline, the IPO will help meet demands on its cash flow.

Orchard now joins a cluster of European biotechs, including the likes of GW Pharmaceuticals and Genmab, that are worth €1bn or more.

Central to its plans is to further develop its newly acquired rare disease portfolio from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Orchard gained ex-vivo gene therapy Strimvelis, a treatment for children with adenosine deaminase severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID), from the deal, along with a clinical programme for beta thalassaemia, which just got a PRIME designation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

It also acquired two late-stage therapies in clinical development targeting metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and Wiskott Aldrich syndrome (WAS), and is aiming for US approvals for both in 2020.

Clinical programmes such as OTL-102 for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease will also benefit from the funding, along with earlier-stage programme for Sanfillipo syndrome.

Orchard also has plans to open a US manufacturing facility within the next few years, which the IPO will help bankroll.

Under chief executive Mark Rothera, the company has seen success with previous funding rounds, its most recent being a series C funding round whereby the company raised $150m.

This financing round was led by Deerfield Management, with other investments pouring in from the likes of RA Capital Management and Venrock.

J.P Morgan, Goldman Sachs & Co, and LLC and Cowen managed Orchard’s IPO and it comes in at the high end of biotech IPOs.

2018 has been a bumper year for biotech IPOs, though many companies have seen their share price fall back to close or near their flotation value.

In having acquired Strimvelis from GSK, Orchard leapfrogs many other gene therapy companies by gaining an established product - and one that is even recommended by England's hard-to-please cost effectiveness watchdog NICE.

However the therapy is not approved in the US, and has only been given to a handful of patients in Europe. The drug will be a test of Orchard's new commercial team, as GSK failed to carve out a success with it.

Orchard is developing its own ACA-SCID gene therapy, OTL-101, and hopes to file for FDA approval of the treatment in 2020.

Article by
Gemma Jones

5th November 2018

From: Sales



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