Merus has filed an amended F-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its initial public offering (IPO). The company plans to offer 4.33 million shares within the expected price range of $14 to $16 per share with an overallotment option for an additional 650,000 shares. The entire offering at the maximum price is valued up to $79.73 million. The company intends to list on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol MRUS.
The underwriters for the offering are Citigroup, Guggenheim Securities, Jefferies and Wedbush PacGrow.
This clinical-stage immuno-oncology company is developing innovative bispecific antibody therapeutics. The pipeline of full-length human bispecific antibody candidates (Biclonics) are generated from the technology platform. By binding to two different antigens, or targets, Biclonics can be designed to simultaneously block receptors that drive tumor cell growth and survival and to mobilize the patient’s immune response by activating various killer cells to eradicate tumors.
In preclinical studies, the bispecific antibody candidates were effective in killing tumor cells, a result that the company believes supports its potential efficacy in the treatment of cancer. In February 2015, Merus commenced a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of the lead bispecific antibody candidate, MCLA-128, for the treatment of HER2-expressing solid tumors, and it expects to report top-line results from this trial by the first half of 2017.
In the second quarter of 2016, Merus expects to commence a Phase 1/2 clinical trial with its second bispecific antibody candidate, MCLA-117, for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Additionally, Merus has several bispecific antibody candidates in preclinical development that bind to combinations of immunomodulatory molecules, including programmed death receptor-1, or PD-1, and programmed death-ligand 1, or PD-L1, both of which are believed to play a significant role in treating cancer.
The company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to further develop its pipeline and to fund its clinical studies. The remainder will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes.
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