Krystal Biotech Gears Up for IPO

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Krystal Biotech has filed an amended S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its initial public offering (IPO). The company expects to price its 3 million shares in the range of $9 to $11 a piece, with an overallotment option for an additional 450,000 shares. At the maximum price, the entire offering is valued up to $37.95 million. The company intends to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol KRYS.

The sole underwriter for this offering is Ladenburg Thalmann.

This gene therapy company is dedicated to developing and commercializing novel treatments for patients suffering from dermatological diseases. Krystal has developed a proprietary gene therapy platform, which is referred to as the Skin TARgeted Delivery platform (STAR-D platform) that consists of a patent pending engineered viral vector based on herpes simplex virus 1 and skin-optimized gene transfer technology, to develop off-the-shelf treatments for dermatological diseases for which it believes there are no known effective treatments.

Krystal is initially using the STAR-D platform to develop treatments for rare or orphan dermatological indications caused by the absence of or a mutation in a single gene, and it plans to leverage its platform to expand the pipeline to include other dermatological indications in the future.

In the filing, Krystal said:

Our lead product candidate, KB103, is currently in preclinical development to treat dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, or DEB, a rare and severe genetic disease, for which there is currently no approved treatment. DEB affects the skin and mucosal tissues, and is caused by one or more mutations in a gene called COL7A1, which is responsible for the formation of protein type VII collagen, or COL7, that forms anchoring fibrils that bind the dermis, or inner layer of the skin, to the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin. KB103 is a replication-defective, non-integrating viral vector that has been engineered employing our STAR-D platform to deliver functional human COL7A1 genes directly to the patients’ dividing and non-dividing skin cells. Non-integrating viral vectors do not integrate into the host DNA, eliminating the risk of disrupting the expression of essential host cell genes and the cancer-causing risks such disruptions could create. Preclinical studies evaluating intradermal and topical delivery of KB103 have been completed, and have demonstrated successful introduction of a functional COL7A1 gene to the host cells and subsequent expression of COL7. We intend to file an Investigational New Drug, or IND, application for KB103 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in the first quarter of 2018.

The company intends to use the proceeds from this offering to further develop its pipeline, with the remainder going toward working capital and general corporate purposes.