Blueprint has filed with the SEC to commence trading on Nasdaq on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. 7.2 million shares, with an underwriters’ overallocation of 1.07 million shares, are being offered between $15 and $17, for a total gross raise of $140 million. The offering is roughly 30% of the outstanding shares.
Goldman Sachs, Cowen and Co., Wedbush PacGrow and JMP Securities are the underwriters.
The use of proceeds is to commence Phase 1 trials for BLU-285 and BLU-554. A possible lung cancer treatment may also be in the works.
Blueprint Medicines was founded in 2008 as ImmunoCo by venture capital investor Third Rock Ventures and an internationally recognized research team. After two name changes and several additional private equity rounds via Fidelity Biosciences and Nextech Invest, the company managed to establish its kinase inhibitor genomic identification platform with approval for Phase 1 FDA trials.
The company has two lead products to-date: BLU-285 is an oral treatment designed to target gastrointestinal and bone marrow cancer tumors; and BLU-554 is designed to treat liver cancer.
The kinase inhibitor platform shows considerable promise for more streamlined and efficient genomic testing, helping identify treatments for cancer patients that can shave months off of the chemotherapy drug selection process.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) is confident that the Blueprint platform may hold the key to accelerating its own research in treating rare diseases and genetic disorders. They recently signed a research contract, and Blueprint received a $15 million upfront payment.
Financial Overview: Still Pre-Revenue
As to be expected with a biotech company still in FDA trials for its initial products, the company is still running losses. Its 2014 numbers reported $39.7 million in operating expenses and no revenues, for a -$40.285 million loss.
Blueprint’s scientific trio, Nick Lydon, Brian Druker and Charles Sawyers, were part of the development team for imatinib, a landmark kinase-based treatment for several cancers, particularly leukemia. Third Rock Ventures brought in Alex Borisy as Blueprint’s interim CEO, before landing Jeffrey Albers with over 20 years’ experience and a former president of Algeta before its acquisition by Bayer last summer. Third Rock and Albers have engineered a number of savvy strategic moves with additional private equity rounds and the Alexion deal to enable Blueprint’s IPO filing.
Conclusion: Consider Caution At Early Stage
The biotech IPO market is still moving along, despite some disappointments. XBiotech Inc (NASDAQ:XBIT), Aduro Biotech Inc (NASDAQ:ADRO) and Cidara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CDTX) all went public in April, raising ~$200 million.
Although Blueprint is technically pre-revenue, its scientific team and management cooperation have shown their ability to raise private funds; as well as partners such as Alexion.
We are also encouraged by Goldman Sachs being behind the small bio IPO. At this stage, however, with a pipeline still in early trials, we are only recommending this puppy for aggressive growth investors. We tend to like small Goldman IPO deals. Look for it to pop out of the gate.