TetraLogic joins IPO rush with $103.5M offering to fuel cancer drug R&D

Malvern, PA-based TetraLogic is gambling that investors will jump onto its cancer drug development platform while the biotech is still completing early-stage work in the clinic. The company has filed for a $103.5 million IPO at a time biotech IPOs remain a hot commodity on Wall Street.

The biotech is resting the bulk of its pitch on a development platform for new drugs that hobble one of the body's mechanisms for resisting apoptosis, cell death triggered by abnormalities. By inhibiting proteins that protect abnormal cells from the natural process of self-destruction, the company believes it's found a pathway to help fight cancer. And it's wrapping a Phase I/II colorectal cancer study on a lead drug--birinapant--in preparation for launching a Phase II/III study next year. Birinapant is also being studied for ovarian and blood cancers.

TetraLogic has burned through more than $77 million to get to this point. Like most other biotechs, it faces extraordinarily high risks in hopes of achieving some big rewards. And while that profile would have excluded an IPO from 2008 through most of last year, the IPO boom this year has opened up doors to companies like TetraLogic, with considerable excitement for fast-paced cancer drug developers looking to find a shortcut in the clinic on their way to the FDA.

The biotech has raised cash from a long list of venture groups, including Nextech Invest, Clarus Ventures, HealthCare Ventures, Quaker BioVentures, Novitas Capital, Hatteras Venture Partners, Pfizer Ventures, Latterell Venture Partners, The Vertical Group, Amgen Ventures, Kammerer Associates, Andrew Pecora (TetraLogic's chairman of the board) and George McLendon, founding scientist and provost of Rice University.

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