Healthcare Business

Twist Bioscience Files for IPO

Twist Bioscience has filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its initial public offering. No pricing details were given in the filing, although the offering is valued up to $86.25 million. The company intends to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol TWST.

The underwriters for the offering are JPMorgan, Cowen, Allen and Baird.

This is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of its platform is a proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of manufacturing synthetic DNA by “writing” DNA on a silicon chip.

The firm has combined this technology with proprietary software, scalable commercial infrastructure and an e-commerce platform to create an integrated technology platform that enables it to achieve high levels of quality, precision, automation, and manufacturing throughput at a significantly lower cost than its competitors.

Twist is leveraging this unique technology to manufacture a broad range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for next-generation sample preparation and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development. Additionally, the firm believes its platform will enable new value-add opportunities, such as discovery partnerships for biologic drugs, and will enable new applications for synthetic DNA, such as digital data storage, which will drive growth in the market for its products. The company sells its synthetic DNA and synthetic DNA-based products to a customer base of over 600 customers across a broad range of industries.

The synthetic biology market is growing rapidly and is being fueled by increased access to affordable and innovative tools that enable new applications. Management believes this is analogous to the trends seen in the next-generation sequencing market, where declining costs of sequencing drove adoption, new applications and market expansion. In calendar year 2017, the market for synthetic biology products was roughly $4.4 billion, and it is expected to grow to $13.9 billion by calendar 2022. Again management believes this period of accelerated growth in the synthetic biology industry is in its early stages.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to improve and update its platform and core technologies, as well as to expand sales and marketing capabilities globally. The remainder will be put toward working capital and general corporate purposes.