After a soft start to the year, the IPO market has witnessed muted activity so far though a few big companies entered the stock market. On the heels of AIG subsidiary Corebridge’s high-profile listing — the biggest IPO of the year — the market is getting ready for another important stock market debut. Early-stage biotechnology company Prime Medicine Inc. last week filed papers with the SEC to become a public entity.
The Cambridge-based preclinical firm, focused on the development of novel gene editing technology for curing genetic disorders, is on a mission to improve the efficiency of generic medicine through advanced technology. Prime Medicine compares its gene-editing technology to a word processor that searches for the correct place in the genome to make an edit. The company calls the technology Prime Editing, which is designed to mitigate shortcomings in traditional gene editing procedures and repair diverse mutations.
It is looking to list on the Nasdaq stock market under the stock symbol PRME. While the management is yet to reveal the financial terms of the offering, the estimated value is around $200 million. It would be one of the biggest IPO for the sector this year, and probably the largest for preclinical biotech.
The proceeds from the offering will be used mainly for continued research and development of target indications – mainly a pipeline of 18 programs in various discovery phases. A part of the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes and for building early-stage manufacturing processes.
Founded in September 2019 by David Liu and Andrew Anzalone, Prime Medicine commenced operations in July 2020. Prime Editing technology was conceived and developed by them. As of now, Liu is the largest shareholder with around 25% stake in the company. Currently, it is headed by Keith Gottesdiener who serves as the president and chief executive officer.
In the six months ended June 30, Prime Medicine incurred a net loss applicable to shareholders of $65.71 million or $1.06 per share, compared to a loss of $92.07 million or $2.91 per share in the corresponding period of last year. The company did not generate any revenue during the period due to the absence of marketable products. It employed around 135 persons at the end of the first half, which is expected to increase to 200 once the planned permanent site in Cambridge becomes operational.
Prime Medicine is taking the IPO route to develop the business at a time when investors are extremely cautious in a bear market that is highly volatile. After a long lull, biotech IPO got a lift when Third Harmonic Bio went public earlier this month.
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