Synthorx Gears Up for IPO

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Synthorx has filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its initial public offering (IPO). No pricing details were given in the filing, although the offering is valued up to $100 million. The company intends to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol THOR.

The underwriters for the offering are Jefferies, Leerink Partners, Evercore ISI and H.C. Wainwright.

This is a biopharmaceutical company focused on prolonging and improving the lives of people with cancer and autoimmune disorders. The firm’s proprietary platform technology expands the genetic code by adding a new DNA base pair and is designed to create optimized biologics, which it refers to as Synthorins. A Synthorin is a protein optimized through incorporation of novel amino acids encoded by its new DNA base pair that enables site-specific modifications, which enhance the pharmacological properties of these therapeutics.

The firm’s lead product candidate, THOR-707, is a variant of IL-2 designed to kill tumor cells by increasing CD8+ T and natural killer cells without causing vascular leak syndrome observed with approved recombinant IL-2 (aldesleukin).

Management plans to file an investigational new drug application for THOR-707 in the second quarter of 2019 and thereafter initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in multiple tumor types as a single agent and in combination with an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Based on preclinical studies, management believes the platform technology can generate a pipeline of additional therapeutics that are differentiated compared to drugs that have been engineered by other means.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to further develop its platform and pipeline, as well as for working capital and general corporate purposes.