Biotechs Rapport and Telix throw their hats into IPO ring

Telix Pharma and Rapport Therapeutics

Australian radiopharma developer Telix Pharma and US neuroscience specialist Rapport Therapeutics have become the latest biotechs to weigh in for initial public offerings (IPOs) on the Nasdaq.

Australia-based Telix was first out of the traps, filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise up to $100 million in a deal led by joint bookrunners Jefferies, Morgan Stanley, Truist Securities, and William Blair.

Telix – which is already listed on the Australian Stock Exchange – reported sales up 214% to more than A$500 million ($334 million) in 2023 driven by Illucix (gallium Ga-68 gozetotide), a PSMA-targeted product for prostate cancer imaging.

The product is used to identify patients for PSMA-directed radioligand therapy with drugs like Novartis’ fast-growing Pluvicto (lutetium [lu177] vipivotide tetraxetan), tipped to become a $2 billion-a-year product.

Telix’s therapeutic pipeline includes would-be Pluvicto rival TLX591 (lutetium [lu177] rosopatamab tetraxetan), in a series of studies including the phase 2/3 ProstACT Global trial in prostate cancer from first recurrence to advanced metastatic disease, as well as TLX250 (lutetium [lu177] DOTA girentuximab) for the treatment of advanced metastatic kidney cancer.

On the imaging side, the company has also filed for FDA approval of Zircaix for kidney cancer – with a launch expected later this year into what Telix says could be a $500 million market opportunity – and brain cancer (glioma) agent Pixclara, which is following a few months after.

Telix is hoping to list on the Nasdaq under the TLX symbol, but hasn’t disclosed the pricing terms of the IPO.

Rapport announced its IPO shortly afterwards, also hoping to raise $100 million from a deal with no pricing terms disclosed that is being led by Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, TD Cowen, and Stifel.

The company is developing a portfolio of small-molecule therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) disorders and has been popular with investors including Johnson & Johnson, completing two nine-figure rounds last year that collectively brought in $250 million. It is led by J&J’s former head of neuroscience drug discovery David Bredt.

Rapport’s lead drug candidate is RAP-219, an AMPA receptor negative allosteric modulator heading for phase 2 testing in drug-resistant focal epilepsy and peripheral neuropathic pain later this year, with a mid-stage trial in bipolar disorder scheduled to start in 2025.

The biotech has a follow-up candidate called RAP-199 in preclinical development, with potential indications currently under assessment, plus discovery stage nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) candidates for chronic pain and hearing disorders. Rapport plans to list on the Nasdaq under the RAPP symbol.

The two IPOs add some much-needed momentum to an IPO market in the US that showed signs of picking up in the first quarter of this year after a two-year lull, but has seen something of a slowdown in the current quarter.