Metagenomi, Arrivent to sneak through crack in IPO window

Seems the IPO window is open at least a crack, and Metagenomi is ready to sneak through with Arrivent Biopharma hot on its tail.

Moderna-backed Metagenomi filed the paperwork Friday with a $100 million placeholder to take its genetic medicines public. The company had been hinting at an IPO throughout the second half of 2023.

Led by CEO and founder Brian Thomas, Ph.D., Metagenomi is using next generation gene editing technology to develop potentially curative therapies. The biotech’s metagenomics-powered discovery platform finds novel cellular machinery sourced from otherwise unknown organisms.

The company’s programs are all in the preclinical stage. The in vivo pipeline spans metabolic disease, hemophilia A, cardiovascular disease, central nervous system diseases and cystic fibrosis. The ex vivo targets are both in immuno-oncology.

Metagenomi has signed a couple of high profile deals, including a Moderna pact that saw the famed mRNA company finally enter into gene editing. The companies declined to provide financial details of the deal, but so far it has yielded the aforementioned in vivo metabolic disease program.

Ionis also snagged a slot with the gene editor, inking a collaboration that could add up to $3 billion all told.

Metagenomi raised $175 million in January 2022. According to the IPO paperwork, the biotech had $292.9 million in cash and equivalents as of September 2023, at which point collaboration revenue was tallied at $32.4 million. A net loss of $49 million was recorded as well. If the IPO lands, Metagenomi plans to trade under the ticker MGX.

Arrivent is similarly seeking the customary $100 million in an IPO filed the same day as Metagenomi. The Pennsylvania-based biotech is on a mission to bring China-developed drugs to Western markets via in-licensing deals.

Furmonertinib is the company’s lead asset, which is being developed in early-stage trials for non-small cell lung cancer. Further programs in solid tumors are in the discovery stage. Arrivent also partnered with Aarvik Therapeutics to develop a novel molecule called ARR-002, but details are slim. 

In March 2023, Arrivent raised $155 million in a series B financing to support the launch of phase 3 testing of furmonertinib and the expansion of the pipeline. The biotech plans to trade under the symbol AVBP.