CRISPR Therapeutics Prepares for IPO

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CRISPR Therapeutics has registered an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its initial public offering (IPO). The company expects to price its 4.7 million shares in the range of $15 to $17 per share, with an overallotment option for an additional 705,000 shares. At the maximum price, the entire offering is valued up to $91.89 million. The company intends to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol CRSP.

The underwriters for the offering are Citigroup, Piper Jaffray, Barclays and Guggenheim Securities.

This is a leading gene editing company focused on the development of CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics. CRISPR/Cas9 is a revolutionary technology for gene editing, the process of precisely altering specific sequences of genomic DNA. The application of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing was co-invented by one of its scientific founders, Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, who, along with her collaborators, published work elucidating how CRISPR/Cas9, a naturally occurring viral defense mechanism found in bacteria, can be adapted for use in gene editing.

Currently, the company is applying this technology to treat a broad set of rare and common diseases by disrupting, correcting or regulating the disease related genes. CRISPR believes that its scientific expertise, together with its approach, may enable an entirely new class of highly active and potentially curative treatments for patients for whom current biopharmaceutical approaches have had limited success.

In the filing the company said:

Given the numerous potential therapeutic applications for CRISPR/Cas9, we have partnered strategically to broaden the indications we can pursue and accelerate development of programs by accessing specific disease-area expertise. We have established a joint venture with Bayer AG and its subsidiaries in which we hold a 50% interest, and a collaboration agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, which together will provide over $400 million, subject to certain conditions, inclusive of estimated spending on funded programs, as well as access to distinctive capabilities, for the development of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing product candidates. We have assembled a team with extensive experience in drug discovery and clinical development to successfully bring CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics to patients. We believe our highly experienced team, product development strategy, partnerships and intellectual property position us as a leader in the development of CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics.

CRISPR intends to use the net proceeds from this filing to advance the development of its hemoglobinopathy programs, progress additional pipeline candidates, and further optimize its CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing platform. The remainder will be put toward working capital and general corporate purposes.