3-peat Friday: Castle Creek, Eliem and Adagio pile on to biotech IPO frenzy

The biotech market is simmering and, in a sign of the times, three more IPO filings were made on a summer Friday. At Nasdaq headquarters on July 16, the temperature was in the 80s. 

Eliem Therapeutics hopes its IPO will also be in the 80s—of millions, of course. The central nervous system-focused biotech submitted its proposal before the weekend, expecting to garner $80 million or more for its phase 2a candidates in diabetic neuropathic pain and lumbosacral pain, more commonly known as sciatica. 

The chronic pain, depressive disorders and epilepsy biotech emerged from stealth just in March with $80 million and then raked in another $60 million in May.

RELATED: Eliem raises $60M to take neuro programs to series of data drops

Phase 2a topline data is expected for the first half of 2022 for its two lead candidates, Eliem said in the filing. The company plans to list under the symbol "ELYM."

Meanwhile, Castle Creek Biosciences flagged the customary $100 million as its IPO price tag also on Friday. The Exton, Pennsylvania-based biotech wants the cash infusion to advance phase 3 studies for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, or skin blistering triggered by a lack of proper collagen levels that can sometimes lead to this rare fatal disease. 

Castle Creek, to list under the symbol "CCBS," is currently in a phase 3 clinical trial for its lead product candidate, dabocemagene autoficel, or D-Fi. The biotech's autologous fibroblast platform for cell-based gene therapy is being studied on patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Top-line data should arrive in the second half of 2022.

The company picked up the asset through an initial $7.5 million upfront licensing deal with Fibrocell in April 2019 before acquiring the gene therapy company outright for $63.3 million five months later. 

RELATED: Fibrocell, Castle Creek ink rare disease gene therapy pacts worth up to $135M

Castle Creek expects to begin a second phase 3 trial for the candidate in patients with the dominant form of the disease before the end of this year. 

The biotech says there are no FDA-approved treatments for either recessive or dominant versions of the disease, with the recessive form affecting about 3,850 patients in the U.S. and a likely smaller treatable population in dominant patients.

Castle Creek has failed in this area before. A phase 2 study in patients with epidermolysis bullosa simplex was terminated in October 2018 because a planned interim analysis by an independent data monitoring committee determined the trail was "unlikely to deliver" the "statistical robustness" required to confirm the primary endpoint of efficacy. 

In the first half of next year, Castle Creek hopes to report preliminary data on a phase 1/2 trial of FCX-013. The treatment is being tested in patients with moderate to severe localized scleroderma, a chronic, rare disease in which the immune system tells cells to produce extra collagen, which leads to hardening and thickening in the skin and organs. 

RELATED: Adagio seeks IPO to bring COVID-19 antibody to market in 2022

Castle Creek, backed by Paragon Biosciences and Fidelity Investments, didn't uncloak the specific figures behind the use of IPO proceeds. Beyond the two main programs, the biotech will deploy fresh funds on clinical and preclinical work for discovery-stage assets for osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare inherited condition affecting connective tissue. 

Adagio Therapeutics also lined up its shot at the public markets before heading into the weekend, completing the IPO trifecta.