HTG Molecular Diagnostics unveils $50M IPO for genomic profiling technology

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

HTG Molecular Diagnostics launched a $50 million initial public offering to support development of its next-generation molecular profiling technology, months after the company unveiled plans for an IPO to boost R&D and commercialization for its sequencing platform.

The Tucson, AZ-based company offered 3.6 million shares at $14 per share, the midpoint of its $13 to $15 range, and also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 535,500 shares of common stock at the offering price, HTG said in a statement. The company counts Leerink Partners as its sole book-runner on the deal and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "HTGM."

An IPO comes at a pivotal moment for HTG, as it forges ahead with its high-volume genomic testing platform. The company touts its HTG Edge system as superior to traditional profiling methods, as it can analyze as many as 2,500 genes from extremely small sample volumes and process results in as little as one day--a simplified process compared to normal genomic testing. Last June, the company won a patent for its HTG EdgeSeq Chemistry technology, which covers a broad swath of samples including RNA gene fusions and rearrangements, DNA mutations and cell-free circulating DNA from liquid biopsies and provides HTG with "substantial ability to develop additional profiling panels and grow our market opportunities," it said in an S-1 filing.

And HTG has not wasted any time roping in funds to ramp up development of its products. The company, which initially filed confidentially for an IPO in September 2014, scored $18 million in January to boost its IPO aspirations. If all goes to plan, HTG plans to grab a bigger piece of a cancer profiling market estimated to grow to $35 billion by 2018. The company faces competition from diagnostic heavyweights such as Roche ($RHHBY), Illumina ($ILMN) and Foundation Medicine ($FMI), but HTG hopes to distinguish itself from its rivals with its simplified molecular profiling technology.

Meanwhile, other diagnostic outfits continue to jump on the IPO bandwagon to gain ground in a highly competitive playing field. Last month, Belgian molecular diagnostics outfit Biocartis launched a €100 million ($109 million) public offering at the high end of its expected range as it diversifies its portfolio and develops tests for infectious diseases and cancer. OpGen ($OPGN) last week priced its IPO to cash in on a $800 million market for tests aimed at reducing hospital-acquired infections, but the company's shares tumbled after the offering, which was 33% below the midpoint.

- read the release
- here's the company's SEC filing

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