Next-gen antibody experts at AnaptysBio file $86M IPO

AnaptysBio CEO Hamza Suria

Up to now, San Diego-based AnaptysBio has raised close to $49 million in cash directly from collaborators looking to the antibody shop to use their technology to create some promising new programs--slightly more than its cumulative burn rate over the years. Now, it's filed papers with the SEC for an $86 million IPO, looking to join the queue of biotechs out to test the marketplace in the wake of some severe turbulence.

AnaptysBio, helmed by Hamza Suria and tapped as a 2013 Fierce 15 company, has quietly built its reputation around building next-gen antibodies that can bind to multiple targets. That rep attracted the likes of Merck ($MRK), Novartis ($NVS) and Roche ($RHHBY) as well as Celgene ($CELG) and Tesaro ($TSRO)--which signed on for a slate of cancer drugs, including a shot at PD-1--as partners along the way. Former Calistoga CEO Carol Gallagher stepped in as chairman, acting as one of Suria's top mentors after engineering the sale of Calistoga to Gilead for up to $600 million. Gallagher, now a partner at NEA, has since switched to a director's seat.

The biotech's platform relies heavily on the work of the company's scientific founders: Michael Neuberger at Cambridge University, Matthew Scharff of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who's been working in the field for 40 years, and Nick Lydon, the former head of small-molecule drug discovery at Amgen ($AMGN).

AnaptysBio Chairman Carol Gallagher

But there isn't any clinical data yet to judge the company by.

According to the company's S-1 filed at the SEC, the plan is to use the public money to elbow its way into the clinic next year on several programs, including lead preclinical programs for an IL-33 anti-inflammatory inhibitor and an IL-36R therapy for GPP, a rare inflammatory disorder.

Despite the recent upheaval in stock exchanges around the world, several biotechs like Syndax have come out with new IPO filings, certain that investors are still chasing risky rewards over the tiny returns available from safer investments. The coming weeks and months will determine whether they were right or not, either keeping the 3-year market window open or seeing it start to close. 

Frazier Healthcare (owns 23%), Novo A/S (21%) and Avalon Ventures (15%) are the three top shareholders in AnaptysBio.

- here's the S-1

Special Reports: FierceBiotech's 2013 Fierce 15 - AnaptysBio | Top 10 Women in Biotech 2010 - Carol Gallagher