Apogee Therapeutics upsizes its IPO to $300m


In a small sign of a possible improvement in the sluggish biotech initial public offering (IPO) market, Apogee Therapeutics has said it expects gross proceeds of $300 million from its Nasdaq listing, up from around $228 million when it was announced last week.

The shares are due to start trading later today under the APGE ticker, having been priced at $17 - at the top of the expected range.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Apogee launched at the end of last year as a spin-out from Paragon Therapeutics, with $169 million in funding to develop a clutch of drugs for inflammatory and immune diseases headed by IL-13 inhibitor APG777.

The subcutaneously-administered antibody has been billed as a potential rival to Sanofi and Regeneron’s blockbuster IL-13 and IL-4 inhibitor Dupixent (dupilumab) and Eli Lilly’s experimental IL-13 drug lebrikizumab.

The drug could offer two- or three-monthly dosing, which compares to Dupixent’s dosing schedule of injections every two or four weeks. APG777 is still in early development, however, with a filing to start clinical trials due in the latter half of this year.

The lead indication will be atopic dermatitis, which was also the first for Dupixent, although the latter is now approved for a wide range of conditions, including asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps.

The new cash resources will help to fund a pair of phase 2 trials in atopic dermatitis, and potentially additional studies in asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, as well as chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE), and prurigo nodularis (PN), according to the IPO prospectus.

Apogee’s pipeline also includes an anti-IL-4 antibody programme, codenamed APG808, which it thinks could have potential as a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and could also offer less frequent dosing to current IL-4 targeting drugs. Early-stage projects are focusing on OX40L, another target for inflammatory and immune diseases.

There were 152 biotech offerings in 2021, raising a massive $25 billion, but they shrank to less than 50 last year, raising around $4 billion. So far, 2023 has only seen a handful, headed by the $540 million raised by Acelyrin in May.

Also potentially making a debut on the Nasdaq this week is California biotech Sagimet Biosciences, which has also upsized its IPO and now expects to make gross proceeds of around $85 million - up from an earlier estimate of $66 million.

The company is focusing on denifanstat, an orally-active selective FASN inhibitor in mid-stage clinical testing for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).