Home Health Care Gossamer Bio becomes 2019’s second biotech ‘unicorn’ to go public

Gossamer Bio becomes 2019’s second biotech ‘unicorn’ to go public

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A company that initially sought to go public during the government shutdown without the Securities and Exchange Commission signing off has announced the pricing of its initial public offering.

San Diego-based Gossamer Bio said Thursday that it would offer $17.25 million shares at $16 per share, with the expectation that it would raise $276 million. The offering is expected to close Tuesday. BofA Merrill Lynch, SVB Leerink, Barclays and Evercore ISI are acting as book-running managers. The company will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “GOSS.”

Gossamer is the second “unicorn” – a company with a value of at least $1 billion – to go public this year. The first was Alector, which also announced Thursday that it would go public. According to Renaissance Capital, Gossamer’s value would be $1 billion, while Alector’s would be $1.4 billion.

Gossamer initially filed to go public in December, but the government shutdown – which lasted for 35 days, from Dec. 22, 2018 to Jan. 25 – prevented the Securities and Exchange Commission from signing off on IPOs. Consequently, the company sought to use the so-called 20-day rule, a legal workaround permitted by the SEC whereby that filed to go public could alter the language in their filings to make the IPOs automatic after 20 days. While permitted by SEC regulations, the workaround carried potential legal risks as well. However, with the shutdown ended, Gossamer went back on that plan and chose to issue its offering through the ordinary route.

Gossamer currently has three drug candidates in clinical development. GB001 is a DP2 antagonist in a Phase IIb study for moderate to severe eosinophilic asthma, and with Phase II studies planned in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps and chronic spontaneous urticaria. GB002 is a PDGF receptor kinase inhibitor in Phase I development for pulmonary arterial hypertension, while GB004 is a HIF-1a stabilizer in Phase I development for inflammatory bowel disease. GB1275 is a CD11b agonist in an unspecified preclinical program, while the company also has preclinical and research programs in autoimmune disease and oncology.

Photo: StockFinland, Getty Images

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