Healthcare Business

Denali Therapeutics Enters the Market With a Bang

Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: DNLI) entered the markets with a bang on Friday. In its initial public offering (IPO), the company priced its 13.89 million shares at $18 apiece, within the expected range of $17 to $19 per share. There is an overallotment option for an additional 2.08 million shares. At this price, the entire offering is valued up to $287.5 million.

The underwriters for the offering are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Evercore ISI.

This company’s goal is to discover and develop therapeutics to defeat degeneration. Neurodegeneration represents one of the most significant unmet medical needs of this era, with few effective therapeutic options available for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Management believes the time is right to make a strong and ambitious effort to defeat neurodegeneration. Recent genetic insights are revealing the underlying biology of neurodegeneration and potential drug targets while enabling better patient selection, similar to how genetic insights have transformed the field of oncology. Identifying and selecting targets based on validated genetic drivers of neurodegeneration is a core principle of its strategy.

The second core principle of Denali’s strategy is to develop medicines that effectively cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and target the brain. The firm has engineered a proprietary BBB platform technology that it believes will enable therapeutically relevant concentrations of its product candidates in the brain.

The third core principle of this strategy is to develop and use biomarkers for better patient selection and demonstration of target and pathway engagement of its product candidates.

By executing this strategy with a team of experienced and passionately dedicated scientists and drug developers, management believes the firm can succeed in a field that has seen limited progress over the past several decades. Denali commenced operations in May 2015 and recently began its first clinical trials.

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

Shares were last seen at $20.25, with a range of $19.67 to $22.95 on the day thus far. Also about 2.5 million shares have moved on the day just before noon Eastern.