RayzeBio – developer of targeted radiopharmaceutical therapies – has a new target: the public markets.
The San Diego-based company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 24 a proposal for a more than $200 million initial public offering traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker RYZB. On Sept. 11 the company announced its terms for the IPO, setting its target price for 13.2 million shares between $16 and $18.
According to the filing, RayzeBio plans to use the net proceeds from the offering to advance clinical development of RYZ101 – a targeted radiopharmaceutical drug designed to deliver Actinium-225 (Ac225), a highly potent alpha-emitting radioisotope, to solid tumors. RayzeBio began a Phase 3 clinical trial of RYZ101 for treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NET) in May.
“Targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy is about taking the power of radiation and delivering it in a much more directed way,” RayzeBio President and CEO Ken Song, M.D. told the Business Journal in a September 2022 interview. “[Ac225’s] radiation is not orders of magnitude, it’s probably millions of orders of magnitude, if not billions of orders of magnitude more potent as a payload than a chemotherapeutic agent.”
One of the biggest drawbacks to chemotherapy has always been that it only works on a small subset of patients. RayzeBio’s therapeutic model uses an imaging isotope attached to a drug binder and injected into the body of a patient, allowing doctors to screen out patients that the treatment would be ineffective on.
Advancements in how radiopharmaceuticals are delivered have led to increased interest in developing them, and recently approved drugs, such as Novartis’ Lutathera and Pluvicito.
In addition to developing RYZ101, RayzeBio stated in its filing that it would use proceeds toward IND enabling activities and clinical development of RYZ801 and RYZ811 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) – the most common type of primary liver cancer.
“We have created a pipeline of multiple drug candidates, in therapeutic areas with significant market opportunities,” RayzeBio wrote in its SEC filing.
The company also likened the opportunity for “innovative radiopharmaceutical therapeutics” to that of antibody drug conjugates that emerged as a transformative treatment for certain cancers.
“We believe the strategic investments we are making in our robust product pipeline, development capabilities, and manufacturing infrastructure position us to be an industry-leading pioneer in the broad application of radiopharmaceutical therapeutics in cancer,” the company stated.
In addition to supporting its pipeline, the funding from the public offering will also go toward completing construction of RayzeBio’s GMP manufacturing facility in Indianapolis, according to the SEC filing.
The IPO filing comes almost a year after the company announced a $160 million Series D funding round. Since the company began its operations in 2020, it has raised a total of $418 million.
RayzeBio investors include its Series D round leads Viking Global Investors, Sofinnova Investments and Wellington Management; Series C round leads Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Perceptive Advisors, Vivo Capital, Acuta Capital Partners, Deerfield Management and TCG X; and other investors including Ally Bridge Group, Sands Capital, Laurion Capital Management, Soleus Capital, venBio Partners, Versant Ventures, Samsara BioCapital, Redmile Group, Cormorant Asset Management, OrbiMed, LifeSci Venture Partners, Logos Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments.
Bookrunners for RayzeBio’s IPO include JP Morgan, Jefferies, Evercore ISI and Truist Securities.
Just days after filing with the SEC, RayzeBio announced it was bolstering its board of directors with Big Pharma veteran Christy Oliger, who previously held management roles at Genentech, Inc., Roche Holding AG and Schering-Plough Corporation.
Oliger previously served on the board of Sierra Oncology, Inc. which was acquired by GSK for $1.9 billion. She currently serves on the boards of Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Replimune Group Inc., Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc., and Lava Therapeutics – all publicly-traded pharmaceutical companies.
“I am very excited about the impact RayzeBio can have on cancer patients and the broader targeted radiopharmaceutical field. I look forward to working with RayzeBio’s accomplished management team on the company’s next phase of growth,” she said.
RayzeBio’s IPO filing comes amid a recent uptick in San Digo life science companies heading to the public markets.
In July, cell therapy startup Turnstone Biologics (NASDAQ: TSBX) raised around $80 million from its IPO initially filed in June. And in late August, SPAC First Light Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FLAG) shareholders approved its planned merger with San Diego-based oncology drug developer Calidi Biotherapeutics. The SPAC merger is expected to close later this year. After the closing, shares of the combined company are expected to trade on NYSE under the symbol CLDI
The return of IPO activity in San Diego – and in the life science industry in general – is welcome news after an extended draught of public offerings that followed the excessive rush of companies going public during heightened investor interest in biotech and drug company startups during the pandemic.
Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom California said IPOs have “significant impact on the growth and vitality” of San Diego’s life science sector because they drive innovation, investment, and collaboration within the region.
“These public offerings provide life science companies with the necessary funds to advance research, develop therapies, and introduce medical technologies to the market,” he said. “Additionally, IPOs bolster the region’s reputation as a center for scientific progress, attracting talent, promoting partnerships, and fostering an environment that supports economic growth. Ultimately, IPOs empower the San Diego life science sector to make important contributions to global health through scientific advancement.
CEO: Ken Song, M.D.
Headquarters: San Diego, Sorrento Valley
Business: Developer of radiopharmaceutical drugs to treat cancer
Funding: $418 million (Series A-D)
Notable: RYZ101 is poised to be the first drug using Actinium-225 to be approved for treating cancer tumors.
[Editors note: This article has been updated from its original to include more accurate target price for shares and overall fundraise amount, which was announced after the original article went to print.]