What bear market? Acelyrin float is third-largest since 2018

After raising one of biopharma’s largest venture rounds in 2022, Acelyrin looks like pulling off one of 2023’s biggest biopharma IPOs. The group raised $540m today in an offering that was upsized by a huge 46% and priced at a top-of-the-range $18. That haul catapults the group into third place in sums raised by pure-play drug developers since 2018 – no mean feat given that the IPO window is only barely open. The group’s punchy $1.7bn post-money valuation rests on its immunology focus, a hot investment therapy area, and a late-stage asset in izokibep, licensed from Affibody. Acelyrin describes this as a small-protein therapeutic about one tenth the size of a traditional MAb that hits two IL-17A binding domains. The group reckons it will prove more potent than approved IL-17 MAbs like Novartis’s Cosentyx and Lilly’s Talz – both of which are blockbusters – with more convenient subcutaneous dosing. Phase 2b/3 trials in psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, uveitis and hidradenitis suppurativa are under way, with readout in the last indication later this year representing the first big test of the newly public company. The stock opened 25% higher.

Biopharma's biggest IPOs (by amount raised)
Company Year Amount raised ($m)
Sana Biotechnology 2021 676
Moderna 2018 604
Acelyrin 2023 540
Legend Biotech 2020 487
Relay Therapeutics 2020 460
Recursion Pharmaceuticals 2021 436
Lyell Immunopharma 2021 425
Allogene Therapeutics 2018 373
Adagio Therapeutics 2021 356
Exscientia 2021 350
Notes: figures exclude overallotments; listings of pure-play drug developers on Western exchanges only. Source: Evaluate Vantage analysis of Evaluate Pharma data. 

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