Biontech mum on $800m ipo report

The blood from pipette over laboratory tubes

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Mar 14, 2019 at 11:49 PM PKT

Amid a report that it will seek an $800 million IPO, BioNTech told BioCentury it is still evaluating all financial options.

Citing undisclosed people familiar with the IPO, Reuters has reported that BioNTech AG (Mainz, Germany) retained Bank of America and J.P. Morgan as global coordinators for a NASDAQ listing, which is planned for 4Q19 or early next year. An IPO of that size would give the biotech a roughly $4 billion valuation, according to the report.

J.P. Morgan and Bank of America declined to comment.

BioNTech raised $270 million in a series A round in January 2018 from Redmile Group, Janus Henderson Investors, Invus and Fidelity. Strüngmann family office, a founding investor, contributed 20% to the round.

According to BioCentury’s BCIQ database, BioNTech’s A round is the fourth largest ever after Samumed LLC (San Diego, Calif.), Immunocore Ltd. (Abingdon, U.K.) and Allogene Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ALLO), which raised $438 million, $320 million and $300 million rounds, respectively. At the time, Strüngmann’s Helmut Jeggle, who is also BioNTech’s chairman, told BioCentury the round valued the company at $2-$3 billion (see “BioNTech Bonanza”).

BioNTech’s pipeline comprises mRNA-based therapeutics for cancer, infectious diseases and rare diseases. The biotech is also developing CAR T and T cell receptor therapies, plus next-generation checkpoint inhibitors against 4-1BB and either CD40 or PD-L1 that use DuoBody technology from Genmab A/S (CSE:GEN; Pink:GMXAY). BioNTech and Genmab are partnered on the bispecific antibodies under a 2015 deal.

BioNTech has several mRNA-based deals, including with Sanofi (Euronext:SAN; NASDAQ:SNY), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Genevant Sciences (see “BioNTech to Co-Develop mRNA Immunotherapy with Sanofi”; “BioNTech, Pfizer Sic mRNA on the Flu”; “BioNTech, Genevant Parter to Send mRNA Therapies to the Liver”).

Targets: 4-1BB (TNFRSF9; CD137) – Tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 9; PD-L1 (B7-H1; CD274) – Programmed cell death 1 ligand 1