HTG Molecular Diagnostics mulls $60M IPO for next-gen profiling technology

HTG's Edge molecular profiling technology--Courtesy of HTG Molecular Diagnostics

HTG Molecular Diagnostics filed plans for a $60 million initial public offering to ramp up development for its next-generation molecular profiling technology and cash in on a growing market.

The Tucson, AZ-based company did not reveal any financial terms but plans to use funds to boost R&D and commercialization for its HTG Edge platform, an innovative system that allows clinicians and molecular labs to run genomic testing on patient samples. HTG touts its technology as superior to traditional profiling methods, as current technology often requires larger sample volumes and long processing times. The company's HTG Edge platform can analyze as many as 2,500 genes from extremely small sample volumes and process results in 24 to 36 hours, providing a simplified testing system, it said in its S-1 filing.

HTG EdgeSeq chemistry in particular could be a boon to business, as the company looks to expand its market presence. In June, HTG won a patent for the technology, which allows clinicians or labs to read out results on next-generation sequencing instruments and cover a wide variety of sample types, including RNA gene fusions and rearrangements, DNA mutations and analysis of cell-free circulating DNA from liquid biopsies. "These capabilities provide us substantial ability to develop additional profiling panels and grow our market opportunities," HTG noted in its S-1 filing.

The company initially filed confidentially for an IPO on Sept. 23, 2014, and counts Canaccord Genuity, Leerink Partners and JMP Securities as joint book runners on the deal. HTG plans to list on the NASDAQ under the symbol "HTGM."

HTG plans to grab a bigger piece of a burgeoning market with a potential IPO. Cancer profiling comprises an estimated $17.8 billion of the global molecular profiling market, and the segment is expected to grow by $35 billion by 2018, the company said in its S-1 filing. Competitors in the field include diagnostic heavyweights Roche ($RHHBY), Illumina ($ILMN) and Foundation Medicine ($FMI), but HTG hopes it can distinguish itself from rivals with its straightforward molecular profiling technology.

Meanwhile, other diagnostic companies are setting their sights on public offerings to beef up product development. In October, molecular diagnostic testing outfit AutoGenomics filed IPO plans for the third time to raise up to $60 million. Last month, AltheaDx filed for a $69 million IPO. The company offers 13 tests in cardiovascular disease, neuropsychiatric disorders and pain, and is developing tests in neurology and rheumatology.

- read HTG's S-1 filing

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