Houston-based gene therapy outfit files for $70M IPO

At the end of last year, the small, Houston-based gene therapy company MultiVir had about a half-million dollars in the bank, working on two cancer drugs. Now the low-profile biotech--which operated on a $4 million budget for the last two years--has filed for a $70 million IPO with plans to advance its lead program for Ad-p53, "a genetically modified adenovirus designed to deliver the normal p53 tumor suppressor gene." A large part of its technology was originally developed at Introgen, a controversial Texas biotech that filed for bankruptcy back in 2008 and liquidated in 2010 after raising more than $700 million. CEO Robert Sobol, who counts himself as one of the original co-founders of Idec in 1985, well ahead of its merger with Biogen, was the SVP at Introgen from 2003 to 2008. S-1