Turning Point Therapeutics eyes $100M IPO to propel treatment for drug-resistant tumors

Five months after raising $80 million, Turning Point Therapeutics has filed to raise up to $100 million in its Nasdaq debut. The proceeds will push its lead asset, repotrectinib, into phase 2 studies and to advance a pair of earlier-stage programs in advanced solid tumors. 

The San Diego-based biotech is developing repotrectinib for tumors with ALK, ROS or NTRK genetic mutations, which are linked to drug resistance. The drug is in phase 1 for ROS1-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and NTRK-positive advanced solid tumors in patients who have been previously treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors and those who have not. Turning Point plans to bring repotrectinib into phase 2 in early 2020, according to an SEC filing. This includes developing a companion diagnostic for the drug, as well as testing it in children. 

Turning Point is also mulling combination studies of repotrectinib, including with EGFR inhibitors such as Tagrisso in related NSCLC patients that have already progressed. 

Repotrectinib is designed to have a much smaller physical structure than other ROS1 inhibitors, allowing it to sneak past various resistance mechanisms seen in refractory patients, the company said. 

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The proceeds will also bankroll the development of Turning Point’s preclinical programs, TPX-0046, a RET inhibitor, and TPX-0022, a dual CSF1R/MET inhibitor, both of which are slated to enter the clinic in the second half of the year. The company has not disclosed the cancers it is targeting with these programs. The capital will also support the development of an ALK inhibitor; the biotech is currently working on selecting which ALK candidate it wants to move into IND-enabling studies. 

“We may also use a portion of the net proceeds from this offering to in-license, acquire or invest in complementary businesses, technologies, products or assets,” Turning Point said in the filing. “However, we have no current commitments or obligations to do so.” 

Turning Point raised $80 million last October, which it announced alongside an executive reshuffle that put then-Chief Medical Officer Athena Countouriotis, M.D., in the CEO seat about five months after she joined the company. The financing was expected to carry the company through 2020 and support its aim to have three clinical-stage programs over the next 18 months.