Annexon, AlloVir gun for $100M IPOs as public funding window stays wide open

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Annexon Biosciences and AlloVir are seeking a $100 million initial public offering apiece in a buoyant market that shows no signs of slowing down.

Annexon is, in fact, less than a week into a meaty $100 million funding drive and now wants to double down with another $100 million in an IPO.

The combined $200 million, should it get off its IPO, will be used to take its clinical work closer to the finishing line as it tees up shots on multiple targets.

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These include ANX005 and ANX007. The former is an investigational monoclonal antibody designed to block C1q and activation of the classical complement cascade and is moving into a phase 2/3 study in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

There are also plans to test warm antibody hemolytic anemia, Huntington’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Then there’s ANX007, a C1q antigen-binding fragment, or Fab, designed for intravitreal administration in patients with complement-mediated neurodegenerative ophthalmic disorders, which is moving into a midstage test clinical trial in geographic atrophy.

“Based on learnings from our initial trials, we are advancing our current programs while evaluating additional orphan and large market indications,” the biotech said in its SEC-1 filing.

“We are also developing novel product candidates designed to inhibit C1q and other components of the early classical complement cascade with the goal of further broadening our portfolio.”

It will list on the Nasdaq under the symbol "ANNX."

AlloVir, meanwhile, is also looking for $100 million for its T-cell work, which includes an early-stage attempt at a T-cell therapy against the SARS-CoV-02 outbreak partnered with the Baylor College of Medicine.

The biotech came out of the ElevateBio biotech builder program just last year and works across a range of targets using off-the-shelf T-cell therapies against several common viruses including flu, respiratory syncytial virus and a type of herpes virus.

AlloVir, formerly called ViraCyte, focuses on treatments that restore T-cell immunity in patients with weakened immune systems, including those who have undergone stem cell or solid organ transplants.

Its pipeline, based on technology from the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor, comprises two allogeneic T-cell therapies that target multiple viruses. Rather than extracting a patient’s own T cells and modifying them to better attack a target, an allogeneic approach uses donor T cells, which can be banked and used “off the shelf.” 

Its lead program, known as Viralym-M or ALVR105, is being developed against six viruses in immunocompromised people: BK virus, cytomegalovirus, adenovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6 and JC virus.

AlloVir plans to kick-start a total of three phase 3 pivotal and three phase 2 trials over the next year.

The biotech uses cytokines and parts of the viruses that don’t cause infection to expand virus-specific T cells from a donor. In healthy people, this type of T cell protects the body against many disease-causing viruses. The idea is to deliver these cells to immunocompromised patients, restore their T-cell immunity and fight the virus.

It also plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker "ALVR."

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