While healthcare-related IPOs in general continue to find favor with IPO investors, this biopharmaceutical IPO in particular had a few key positive factors working in its favor: it is involved with T-cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, it has a significant collaboration partner in Servier, and it is backed by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, along with Cowen and Jefferies.
So, perhaps in this turbulent market, another biopharmaceutical IPO lacking those characteristics would not have fared quite as well. At any rate, interest was clearly strong for ALLO's deal as the IPO was bumped up to 18.0 mln from 16.0 mln, pricing at $18 versus the $16-$18 projected range. In all, it is set to raise $324.0 mln in total gross proceeds, about $52.0 mln more than anticipated.
Shares are opened for trading this morning on the Nasdaq at $22.00.
ALLO is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company focused on pioneering the development of genetically engineered allogeneic T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. It's developing a pipeline of off-the-shelf T cell product candidates that are designed to target and kill cancer cells. The key point is that its engineered T cells are allogeneic, meaning they are derived from healthy donors for intended use in any patient, rather than from an individual patient for only that patient's use, as is the case with autologous T cells.
In collaboration with Servier (the second largest pharma company in France), ALLO is developing UCART19, a CAR T cell product candidate that targets CD19. UCART19 is being studied in clinical trials in patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and ALLO expects UCART19 will be advanced to potential registrational trials in 2H19.
CAR T cell therapy, a form of cancer immunotherapy, has recently emerged as a revolutionary and potentially curative therapy for patients with hematologic (blood) cancers, including refractory cancers. In 2017, two autologous anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapies, Kymriah, developed by Novartis (NVS), and Yescarta, developed by Kite Pharma (GILD), were approved by the FDA for the treatment of R/R B-cell precursor ALL (Kymriah) and R/R large B-cell lymphoma (Yescarta).
ALLO also plans to submit an investigational new drug application in 1H19 for its second allogeneic anti-CD19 CAR T cell product candidate, ALLO-501, for the treatment of R/R non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In addition, ALLO says it has a deep pipeline of allogeneic CAR T cell product candidates targeting multiple promising antigens in a host of hematological malignancies and solid tumors.
ALLO believes its allogeneic platform has the potential to be the next revolution in cancer treatment for several reasons: supply (off-the-shelf product enables creation of inventory; potential to treat more patients than autologous cell therapies; readily available supply for retreatment); delivery time (on demand product delivery from inventory; faster time to treatment may improve patient outcomes); potency (more uniform starting materials sourced from healthy donors; potential for more predictable safety and efficacy); and cost (potential for ~100 doses from a single manufacturing run; ability to scale production to further reduce cost).