Six months after nabbing a potential $2.6 billion deal with Celgene, early-stage biotech Jounce has filed for a $75 million IPO that could serve as a broader litmus test for public offerings at the start of 2017.
The company, which runs on the philosophy of ‘immuno-oncology 2.0’ and targets inducible T-cell co-stimulators, hopes to run on the Nasdaq under the ticker $JNCE.
The Third Rock incubated, Cambridge, MA-based biotech has had a strong few months, and its attempted IPO comes after it struck an I/O deal with Celgene in the summer, with an upfront payment of $225 million and an equity investment of $36 million.
The deal was pretty substantial given that Jounce’s lead candidate that’s included in it, JTX-2011, has only just entered the clinic in advanced, solid tumors. The candidate was in fact only preclinical when the Celgene deal was first struck.
JTX-2011 is a mAb that specifically targets ICOS, the inducible T-cell costimulator, a protein on the surface of some T-cells that is thought to stimulate an immune response against cancer.
Jounce’s Translational Science Platform is based on applying a bioinformatics approach to specific cell types in the tumor microenvironment.
The company raised a $52 million Series B in April 2015, a round that included several crossover investors who typically have tighter timelines for returns.
But the biotech told FierceBiotech last year it was holding off on an IPO given the fairly dismal year for offerings over the past year; it looks however as the biotech has seen a window to get its IPO off early in the new year.
How well it does could be of interest to other private biotechs awaiting to go public, as many CEOs have told FierceBiotech they have been playing the waiting game in 2016 given the strong headwinds in this market.