​​​​​​​Blueprint files to raise $150M to fund cancer clinical trials

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Blueprint will use the money to develop BLU-285, BLU-554 and BLU-667

Blueprint Medicines has filed to raise $150 million. The kinase inhibitor specialist is looking to add to its already sizable cash reserves through a follow-on offering to equip itself to take its phase 1 candidates deeper into development.

Having raised $135 million through a stock offering in December, Blueprint closed out 2016 with $268 million in cash in the bank. But with management planning to hustle several assets through the clinic in the coming years, it has filed to raise more to extend its runway out to the middle of 2019.

Blueprint expects the latest offering to net it $140 million. This figure could swell to upward of $161 million if the underwriters exercise an over-allotment in full.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company plans to commit up to $50 million to development of BLU-285 in gastrointestinal stromal tumors and systemic mastocytosis. Investigators are running phase 1 trials of the inhibitor of PDGFRα D842V and KIT Exon 17 mutants in both indications.

Blueprint may use some of the cash to expand these trials. And it also has an eye on channeling money into later-stage studies or trials to expand into new indications or earlier stages of treatment.

The biotech, a brainchild of Third Rock Ventures and 2011 Fierce 15 company, has plotted a similar roadmap for BLU-554. Blueprint’s near-term focus is on getting the FGFR4-targeted candidate through a phase 1 trial in hepatocellular carcinoma. And, with $25 million earmarked to advance the program, Blueprint thinks it has scope to expand that study or initiate new trials with similar goals to those planned for BLU-285.

Blueprint plans to invest a further $25 million in BLU-667—a treatment for RET-driven cancers that recently entered the clinic—and keep some money back for other activities including research and pre-commercial planning.

The offering is made possible by investor interest in the potential of these programs—which rose last year on the strength of phase 1 data—and the deals Blueprint has landed with Alexion and Roche, the value of which could top $1 billion. Such interest has driven a 150% rise in Blueprint’s stock over the past year, inflating its value to well beyond the $18 per share it secured for its IPO and even the $25 per share of its December offering. The stock closed yesterday above $42.

Blueprint expects to present more data from the phase 1 trials of BLU-554 and BLU-285 this year.