What pandemic? With ADC's $233M listing, biotech IPOs keep on rolling

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With its upsized $233 million IPO, ADC Therapeutics joins the likes of ORIC Pharmaceuticals and Zentalis Pharmaceuticals, both cancer-focused biotechs that listed during the COVID-19 pandemic and smashed past their original goals. (diegograndi)

After pulling the plug on its first IPO attempt, ADC Therapeutics tried its luck during a pandemic. That gamble has paid off—the cancer drug developer reeled in $233 million in its Wall Street debut, outraising its original goal by more than $80 million.

The proceeds will push the company’s lead programs through pivotal phase 2 studies. These include loncastuximab tesirine, nicknamed “lonca,” an antibody-drug conjugate targeting CD19 that the company is testing in patients with relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. It expects to file “lonca” for approval in the second half of the year. Following that lead indication, ADC is developing “lonca” for other blood cancers, such as follicular lymphoma.

With the funds, ADC also aims to finish a phase 2 study of camidanlumab tesirine, or “cami,” which targets CD25 to treat Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. But the Genmab-partnered program hit a snag in April when the FDA placed a partial clinical hold on the Hodgkin trial due to safety concerns. Two of the 47 patients in the study were diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder in which the immune system attacks the nerves.

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RELATED: 'The silver lining': Biotech IPOs in the time of coronavirus

ADC may continue to treat patients in the study, but it may not enroll new ones. The company expects top-line data to come out in the first half of 2021, according to a securities filing, though that timeline will depend on how the FDA handles the partial hold.

RELATED: One IPO attempt pulled, a drug on partial hold and a pandemic, but ADC tries again

ADC originally filed to raise $150 million in its New York Stock Exchange IPO last September, three months after it bagged $76 million in its series E round. It later called off the offering and tried again in April, scaling down the deal to $100 million.

With its upsized $233 million IPO, ADC joins the likes of ORIC Pharmaceuticals and Zentalis Pharmaceuticals, both cancer-focused biotechs that listed during the COVID-19 pandemic and smashed past their original goals.

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