Market Overview

The Precision Biosciences IPO: What You Need To Know

The Precision Biosciences IPO: What You Need To Know

Gene therapy is in vogue among biotech investors, and Precision Biosciences (DTIL), which operates in the sector, is planning an initial public offering.

The Offering

The company will issue 7.9 million shares between $15 and $17 Thursday each on the Nasdaq. The offering represents 16.1 percent of Precision’s outstanding shares, according to the firm’s S-1 filing.

Underwriters include JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs Group, Jefferies Financial Group and Barclays.

Precision qualifies as an emerging growth company under the U.S. JOBS Act, which exempts management from certain SEC disclosure requirements.

The Products

Based in North Carolina, the genome editing company uses a proprietary, non-Crispr platform, ARCUS, to advance cancer immunotherapy, in vivo gene correction and food sourcing.

The firm’s allogeneic CAR T immunotherapy platform targets non-hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukemia.

The FDA approved an IND for Precision’s most advanced candidate — PBCAR0191 for ALL and NHL — in November, and management expects to submit INDs for three additional candidates in the fourth quarter of 2019 and throughout 2020.

Precision’s gene therapy platform targets hepatitis B, familial amyloid polyneuropathy, primary hyperoxaluria, hemophilia A, retinitis pigmentosa, lipoprotein lipase deficiency and familial hypercholesterolemia.

Last year, the company announced a collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) to co-develop a Hepatitis B cure, with an IND scheduled for 2020.

It expects to employ contract manufacturing organizations for one or more of its products.

The Finances

Precision reported a pro forma loss per share of 64 cents last year on revenue of $10.9 million. The previous year saw a top line of $6.5 million.

The biotech has raised about $300 million from third parties through preferred stock, convertible notes, partnership payments and grants. Investors include Gilead, Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN).

Earlier this month, management issued $39.6 million in convertible promissory notes in a private transaction.

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