Celyad, Chiasma hop aboard Europe to Nasdaq express in bid to raise $185M

Celyad and Chiasma have joined the growing list of European biotechs to barrel into Wall Street in search of dollars. The companies are aiming to raise a total of around $185 million (€164 million), a sum that will go toward a mix of late-phase trials and CAR-T R&D.

Celyad CEO Christian Homsy

Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium-based Celyad accounts for the biggest chunk of the $185 million. The cell therapy player--which was known as Cardio3 BioSciences prior to its pivot toward CAR-T--has set its sights on raising close to $100 million, two-fifths of which it will use to advance its preclinical pipeline. The $40 million investment is expected to give Celyad a clutch of early-stage CAR-T assets against blood cancers and solid tumors to complement its existing Phase I candidate, a NKG2D receptor-targeting drug known as CAR-NKG2D.

Celyad thinks the CAR-T experience it gained in the $180 million buyout of OnCyte and its own history of cell therapy R&D will enable it to develop other drugs against other cancers that express NKG2D receptor ligands. These include ovarian, bladder, breast, lung and liver cancers, a breadth of targets that Celyad hopes will set it apart from the CD19-focused CAR-T pioneers such as Juno Therapeutics ($JUNO), Kite Pharma ($KITE) and Novartis ($NVS). Celyad also has a Phase III therapy against ischemic heart failure, but CAR-T is the focal point of its post-IPO spending plans.

Chiasma has marginally more modest IPO ambitions. The Israeli-American biotech is swinging for an $86 million filing to finance the commercialization of its oral octreotide treatment of acromegaly, a submission for which was sent to FDA this week. Chiasma was forced to plot a route to market solo in August when Roche ($RHHBY) pulled out of their $595 million deal. The firm bounced back by pulling in $70 million in a Series E round, naming 25-year industry veteran Mark Leuchtenberger as its CEO and moving to swell its bank balance further still through the IPO.

At this stage Chiasma is yet to provide a breakdown of the proportions in which it will dole out the IPO cash but it has outlined the areas in which it plans to invest. As well as building out its sales infrastructure, Chiasma plans to plough money into a Phase III trial of its acromegaly treatment in an attempt to snag an approval in Europe and a Phase II study of the same drug in patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Whatever is left will go toward developing oral octreotide in an orphan indication and readying another asset for the clinic by the end of next year.

- read Celyad's F-1/A
- here's Chiasma's S-1
- and its NDA news