Alumis eyes IPO of over $300M to fund clinical-stage TYK2 pipeline

Alumis is eyeing up potential proceeds of over $300 million that the biotech will use to fund its TYK2 inhibitor through phase 3 psoriasis trials.

The California-based company announced earlier this month that it planned to use part of its IPO haul to advance the development of its lead asset, an allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor called ESK-001, into multiple phase 3 trials in moderate to severe plaque psoriasis later this year. Alumis will also complete ongoing phase 2 trials in a type of eye inflammation called uveitis as well as in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Now, the biotech has set out roughly how much money it hopes it will have to play with. In a June 24 Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Alumis said it is aiming to sell 17.6 million shares of its common stock at $17 apiece. This would bring in net proceeds of $274 million—rising to $315.9 million should underwriters take up an offer to buy an additional 2.6 million shares at the same price.

Should the company achieve this goal, it would put Alumis towards the upper end of the 2024 crop of biotech IPOs. CG Oncology continues to hold the top position with its $380 million offering that kicked off the year, while Kyverna Therapeutics brought in $366.9 million in February.

Alumis has previously said that it wants to use some of the IPO funds to push ahead with a phase 1 trial of another allosteric TYK2 inhibitor, dubbed A-005, in healthy volunteers, the company explained in the filing. A-005 is being lined up as a possible treatment for neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.

The announcement of IPO ambitions came just three months after Alumis brought in a $259 million series C financing that saw Lilly Asia Ventures join a list of investors headed up by Foresite Capital, Samsara BioCapital and venBio Partners. It was the largest private biotech fundraise of the year at that point, although it was soon overtaken by Mirador Therapeutics’ $400 million series A.

A couple of days after the financing, Alumis’ confidence in ESK-001 was affirmed when the drug met its primary endpoint of improving psoriasis in a phase 2 study.

Alumis’ move to the Nasdaq continues a low hum of biotech IPO interest this summer. Third Rock’s Rapport Therapeutics went public earlier in June with an upsized $174 million offering while Australia-listed Telix Pharmaceuticals set out plans to bring in over $200 million via a Nasdaq debut.

However, Telix’s last-minute decision to pull out of its IPO plans due to its dissatisfaction with the terms on offer was a reminder that getting onto the public markets is rarely the end of the story. Nearly all of the initial crop of biotechs that IPO-ed this year—bar CG Oncology—were trading below their initial offer price as of a Fierce Biotech analysis in May.

Rapport has so far managed to avoid this fate and Alumis will no doubt be hoping to follow its example.