Protagonist raises $90M IPO as it upsizes offering

There may be a slightly wider crack in the biotech IPO window this summer as Protagonist Therapeutics announces a larger-than-expected offering.

The Lilly ($LLY)- and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ)-backed biotech, which is working on the much-anticipated area of peptide-based oral drugs for inflammatory bowel disease, raised $90 million by offering 7.5 million shares at $12, in the middle of its $11 to $13 range.

The Milpitas, CA-based early-stage biotech, which is developing peptide-based oral drugs for inflammatory bowel disease, had originally planned to raise $70 million by offering 5.84 million shares, according to its previous filings. Insiders had been set on buying around $40 million of the IPO.

The biotech, which was founded in 2001 as a spinout from the University of Queensland's Institute of Molecular Biosciences, plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol "PTGX."

Turning what are injectable meds for IBD diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis into oral formulations is no easy task, as the digestive system is a very tricky route for oral peptides. But this would be a much easier route for patient administration, and if successful would create a new way of delivering these kinds of treatments.

Protagonist’s early stage work in the field on its Phase I candidate PTG-100 and preclinical work on PTG-200 have already been enough to garner interest from the venture arms of Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson for its $40 million round last year.

- check out the release

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Protagonist Therapeutics lands $40M round for an oral peptide IBD drug