4DMT shoots for a $75M IPO, its second attempt to go public with its gene therapy vector programs

Just a few months after withdrawing its IPO filing, 4D Molecular Therapeutics is seeking to go public once again.

The Emeryville, CA-based company submitted a new S-1 on Tuesday, detailing plans for a $75 million raise as it aims for the second time to hit the Nasdaq. 4DMT had previously sought a $100 million IPO back in September 2019, but withdrew the filing in July of this year after completing a $75 million Series C in June.

Should 4DMT complete the transition to a public company this time around, they’ll join a crowded IPO party that’s lasted nearly the entire year.

Nasdaq head of healthcare listings Jordan Saxe provided the most recent tally for biotech IPOs in late October, counting 72 companies going public at the time. Combined, those outlets have raised roughly $13.2 billion. The debuts have slowed since the summer, but Saxe pegged a “fair estimate” of 75 IPOs and just under $14 billion in proceeds to round out 2020.

Several factors have contributed to this year’s wave, Saxe previously told Endpoints News, as the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted innovation and crossover investors have steadily increased biotech investments in the second half of the 2010s. The pandemic economy has also made biotech companies more appealing given that they’re less reliant on quarter-to-quarter sales numbers.

In the last four years, only 2018 comes close in terms of the sheer amount of biotechs shooting for Wall Street. That year’s tab totaled 56 IPOs, according to independent analyst Brad Loncar.

Within the new S-1, 4DMT didn’t provide too much detail about how much money they’d spend on each of their programs. The company did list, however, that ongoing clinical trials for their leading programs 4D-310 and 4D-125 would be their top priority. Both of those candidates are currently in Phase I/II with data likely coming next year.

David Kirn

The main research driving the company has been building out a base of more than a billion vector capsid sequences, which CEO David Kirn said in June needed years to take place. 4DMT needed that time to run the sequences through non-human primates to see which shells were the least toxic and most likely to prevent antibody resistance.

By doing so, the biotech hopes this screening model can help find the capsids most suitable for the vector delivery of gene therapies.

4DMT’s lead candidate, 4D-310, is intended to treat Fabry disease, with the goal of initially treating early onset versions before expanding into severe, late-onset patients. 4D-125, meanwhile, has the goal of treating an inherited vision loss disorder called XLRP. Roche has partnered with 4DMT to in-license the program before it begins a pivotal trial.

The biotech is also conducting a Phase I study in 4D-110, which is targeted at patients with choroideremia related to mutations in the CHM gene.

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