Then there were two: ArriVent set to list after $175m IPO


ArriVent BioPharma was beaten to the first biotech initial public offering of the year when CG Oncology made its debut on the Nasdaq yesterday, but is due to start trading on the exchange this morning.

The Pennsylvania-based biotech looks set to raise $175 million from the sale of more than 9,7 million shares at $18 each, in another oversubscribed debut that surpasses prior projections. ArriVent will trade under the ticker symbol AVBP when the Nasdaq opens shortly.

As with most other recent IPOs in the biotech sector, ArriVent is sitting on a late-stage drug candidate – furmonertinib – a third-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed to overcome resistance to earlier drugs in the class.

The oral drug is currently in a phase 3 trial (FURVENT) in previously untreated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumours contain EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations, an indication for which it picked up a breakthrough designation from the FDA last year. Results are due before the end of 2024

Around $50 to $60 million of the IPO cash will be used to bring that programme through to FDA approval, with $30 to $40 million earmarked for clinical testing of the drug for NSCLC patients with PACC mutations in the FURTHER trial, and $5 to $10 million for trials of the drug alongside an SHP2 inhibitor.

Another $5 to $10 million will be used to support an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) project in oncology partnered with Aarvik Therapeutics, according to the prospectus for the IPO.

If approved, furmonertinib will enter the market for EGFR exon 20-directed therapies alongside Johnson & Johnson’s intravenously-administered antibody drug Rybrevant (amivantamab), which is currently the only drug in the class available following the withdrawal of Takeda’s Exkivity (mobocertinib) last year.

Meanwhile, yesterday’s debutante CG Oncology – which made $30 million from its IPO against expectations of around $200 million – enjoyed strong gains in its first trading day, with its starting price of $19 almost doubling to close at over $37 by the close of trading, although it has slipped back slightly after hours.

Other biotechs that are eyeing public listings at the moment include Alto Neuroscience, Kyverna Therapeutics, Metagenomi and most recently FibroBiologics, a clinical-stage company developing therapeutics for chronic diseases using fibroblasts and fibroblast-derived materials, which said yesterday that Nasdaq trading of its stock will commence on 31st January under the FBLG ticker.

FibroBiologics’ lead programme is CYMS101, an off-the-shelf or allogeneic fibroblast cell-based therapy for multiple sclerosis. The company, which was spun out of FibroGenesis in 2021, is using the direct public offering (DPO) route – in other words, it is raising capital directly without a firm commitment from an underwriter.

26 January, 2024