A year and a half after banking $400 million in its series C round, Relay Therapeutics is ready to go public. The company filed to raise up to $200 million in its Nasdaq IPO, which will move two oncology programs into midphase development and push a third toward the clinic.
The proceeds will move Relay’s leading programs, a SHP2 inhibitor dubbed RLY-1971 and an FGFR2 inhibitor called RLY-4008, through phase 1 and into phase 2/3 confirmatory studies, the company said in a securities filing.
Relay started a phase 1 study of RLY-1971 in patients with advanced solid tumors earlier this year and plans to kick off a phase 1 trial for RLY-4008 in patients with the same kinds of tumors—but with cancer-driving FGFR2 mutations—by the end of the year.
The offering will also bankroll Relay’s discovery-stage programs including RLY-PI3K1047, which targets cancer-driving mutations of PI3K-alpha. If all goes to plan, it will pick a lead candidate for IND-enabling studies in 2021. The company hopes to fund part of the phase 1 and 1b studies for the candidate with the IPO haul.
Relay worked under the radar for about a year before bursting on the scene in 2016 with a $57 million series A. Its goal is to create new treatments against targets that were previously considered undruggable or were inadequately drugged. Its first focus is cancer, but it thinks its technology could come in handy against genetic diseases as well. Beyond the three programs it’s divulged, the company has five discovery-stage programs in cancer and genetic disease, according to the filing.
Relay is the latest in a string of biotech companies to attempt a listing since the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. If Relay’s IPO goes the way its peers’ listings went—Zentalis Pharmaceuticals, ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Forma Therapeutics and Repare Therapeutics all pulled off upsized listings—it’ll add to the evidence that the appetite of biotech investors cannot be quelled, pandemic or no pandemic.