Healthcare Business

Intellia Therapeutics Enters the Market With a Bang

Chris Lange

Intellia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: NTLA) entered the market with a bang on Friday, blowing out its expected price range of $16 to $18. The company in fact priced at $22 per share. At that entry price the entire offering, including 5 million shares with an overallotment option for an additional 750,000, is valued up to $126.5 million.

The underwriters for the offering are Credit Suisse, Jefferies, Leerink and Wedbush Pacgrow.

This leading gene-editing company is focused on the development of proprietary, potentially curative therapeutics utilizing a recently developed biological tool known as the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Intellia believes that the CRISPR/Cas9 technology has the potential to transform medicine by permanently editing disease-associated genes in the human body with a single treatment course. The company intends to leverage its leading scientific expertise, clinical development experience and intellectual property position to unlock broad therapeutic applications of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and develop a potential new class of therapeutic products.

The CRISPR/Cas9 system offers a revolutionary approach for therapeutic development due to its broad potential to precisely edit genes. This system can be used to make three general types of edits: knockouts, repairs and insertions. Each of these editing strategies takes advantage of naturally occurring biological mechanisms to effect the desired genetic alteration. This approach has the potential to provide curative therapeutic options for patients with chronic diseases by addressing the underlying genetic cause or driver of the disease.

In the filing the company detailed:

Unlike earlier-generation gene editing technologies, the CRISPR/Cas9 system is simple and involves a single protein, Cas9, that can be directed to precisely cleave a target DNA sequence by using pieces of RNA, called guide RNAs, that specifically recognize the target DNA of interest. Therefore, CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics have the potential to be highly efficient, selective and scalable.

Intellia intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to advance its product candidates and to further develop its CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing platform. The remainder will be put toward working capital and general corporate purposes.

Shares of Intellia were last seen trading up 25.5% at $22.60, within the range of $21.00 to $22.79 so far. Also roughly 2.5 million shares have moved on the day as of 11 a.m. Eastern.