Cargo, undeterred by market challenges, seeks $281M IPO

Undeterred by the fate of biotechs that have come before it, Cargo Therapeutics is loading up to Wall Street seeking a $281.3 million initial public offering.

The cell therapy biotech priced its shares at $15 apiece Thursday, with 18,750,000 total being offered. Underwriters will have a 30-day option to purchase up to 2,812,500 additional shares. The shares will debut today under the ticker "CRGX," subject to closing conditions.

Cargo plans to use the IPO proceeds to fund a phase 2 trial for lead CAR-T CRG-022, a med licensed from the National Cancer Institute to treat large B-cell lymphoma. The company believes its treatment can address the “significant unmet need” for patients who have relapsed or progressed even after receiving a CD19 CAR-T. Cargo is expecting a phase 2 study to read out in 2025.

Biotech IPOs have been few and far between this year, with the small number of companies taking the plunge receiving a fairly lukewarm welcome. Shares of Abivax, for one, plummeted 30% after debuting on the Euronext Paris market on Oct. 20. Meanwhile, earlier this month, Lexeo Therapeutics had to drop its share price at the last minute to drum up interest for a planned IPO, which the company hopes will raise $100 million.

RayzeBio, on the other hand, raised $358 million in September—the largest IPO in recent months—and opened Friday at $19.99, compared to a starting price of $18.

Luckily for Cargo, the company launched in March 2022 with $200 million.