Healthcare Business

Rubius Therapeutics Enters the Market With a Bang

Rubius Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RUBY) entered the market with a bang in its initial public offering (IPO). The stock entered the market just over $30 per share, well above its pricing at $23 per share. However, the stock has given some of these gains back since then.

The firm originally expected to price its 10.48 million shares in the range of $20 to $22, with an overallotment option for an additional 1.57 million shares. Yet, the stock was priced just above the range at $23, valuing the entire offering at $277.28 million.

The underwriters for the offering are JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Jefferies and Leerink Partners.

This company is pioneering the development of a new class of medicines called red cell therapeutics (RCTs). Based on management’s vision that human red blood cells are the foundation of the next significant innovation in medicine, Rubius has designed a proprietary platform to genetically engineer and culture RCTs that are selective, potent and ready-to-use cellular therapies. The firm believes that its RCTs will provide life-changing or life-saving benefits for patients with severe diseases across multiple therapeutic areas.

Rubius has generated hundreds of RCTs using its proprietary cellular therapy platform, the Rubius Erythrocyte Design platform. Management is utilizing its universal engineering and manufacturing processes to advance a broad pipeline of RCT product candidates into clinical trials in rare diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The firm plans to file an investigational new drug application (IND) for its first product candidate in the first quarter of 2019 and INDs for additional RCT product candidates during 2019, 2020 and thereafter. Since its founding by Flagship Pioneering in 2013, the company has raised roughly $240 million in capital.

According to the filing, Rubius intends to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with its existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, as follows:

  • To purchase, renovate and customize the manufacturing facility for which we have entered into a letter of intent to purchase;
  • To advance RTX-134 through a Phase 1/2a clinical proof-of-concept trial;
  • To advance and expand our research and development pipeline, including early discovery efforts and IND-enabling studies, and to initiate additional proof-of-concept trials in rare diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases; and
  • The remaining proceeds for working capital and other general corporate purposes

Shares of Rubius were last seen up about 7% at $24.61, with a range of $23.75 to $33.00 on the day thus far. About 4.5 million shares had moved on the day as of 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

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