Y-mAbs ramps up head count in post-IPO hiring spree

Adrienne Weil joins AHLA from Partnership for a Healthier America, where she was VP of partnerships and managed a team to secure and service more than 200 partners across a variety of sectors.
Y-mAbs ended the quarter with $120 million in cash and equivalents. (Getty Images/marchmeena29)

Y-mAbs Therapeutics has rapidly expanded its head count by 65%. The post-IPO hiring spree comes as Y-mAbs heads toward FDA filings of two cancer drugs later this year.

Denmark’s Y-mAbs went public last year with 29 full-time employees. Today, fueled by the $96 million (€86 million) it raised in the IPO, Y-mAbs has almost 50, meaning it has grown by 65% in less than a year.

The growth comes as Y-mAbs races to get two assets to the FDA. Y-mAbs hopes to start a rolling filing for FDA approval of anti-GD2 3F8 monoclonal antibody naxitamab in relapsed/refractory high-risk neuroblastoma in November. A filing for approval of radioimmunotherapy omburtamab in central nervous system/leptomeningeal metastasis is due to get underway the following month.

Y-mAbs reaffirmed its commitment to start rolling submissions for both drugs by the end of the year on its second-quarter results conference call. The commitment reflects the fact that Y-mAbs had finished enrolling patients in its 18-subject pivotal omburtamab trial by the end of June. The pivotal naxitamab trial had enrolled more than 80% of its target population as of the same cutoff, putting it ahead of the number of subjects Y-mAbs plans to include in the BLA.

Activities in support of the two programs added to costs in the quarter. Y-mAbs posted a $1.4 million increase in employee-related costs and a $2.1 million rise in R&D spending, largely because of a jump in expenditure on the manufacturing of naxitamab and omburtamab.

Following the outlays, Y-mAbs ended the quarter with $120 million in cash and equivalents. Talking to investors on a second-quarter results conference call, Y-mAbs chairman Thomas Gad said the company is “very pleased” with its financial position, in part because it stands to secure valuable priority review vouchers if naxitamab and omburtamab are approved.

Companies typically sell or use those vouchers after receiving them from the FDA. But Y-mAbs is looking into whether it can monetize them before then, for example through a deal with a pension fund. 

“We are definitely considering the possibility as a potential to have non-diluted cash,” Y-mAbs CEO Claus Moller said.