IPO Preview: CureVac Begins U.S. IPO Effort
CureVac B.V. (CVAC) has filed to raise $100 million in an IPO of its common shares, according to an F-1 registration statement.
The firm is developing a wide range of treatments, vaccines and therapies based on messenger RNA technologies.
CVAC has developed extensive collaborations with major pharma firms and top tier research organizations.
Tubingen, Germany-based CureVac was founded to create mRNA-mediated treatment options for cancers, viral diseases including Covid-19 and gene editing-based protein therapies.
Management is led by Franz-Werner Haas, LLD, LLM, who has been with the firm since 2012 and was previously Vice President of Operations and Chief Compliance Officer of SYGNIS Pharma AG.
Below is a brief overview video of skin cancer:
One of the firm's lead candidates, CV8102, is being developed to treat melanoma, adenoidcystic carcinoma, and squamous cell cancer of the skin and head and neck.
Below is the current status of the company’s drug development pipeline:
Source: Company S-1 Filing
Investors in the firm have invested at least $472 million and include Dievini Hopp BioTech, Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau and Glaxo Group Limited (GSK).
According to a 2018 market research report by Research And Markets, the global market for melanoma treatments is expected to reach $5.9 billion by 2023.
This represents a forecast CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 12.62% from 2018 to 2023.
Key elements driving this expected growth are continued exposure to ultraviolet light and population aging leading to reduced immune system function.
Also, the market for HNSCC (Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma) is expected to reach $4.5 billion by 2027, growing at an expected 17.3% from 2020 to 2027.
Major competitive firms that provide or are developing treatments include:
- BioNTech (NTGN)
- Moderna (MRNA)
- eTheRNA Immunotherapies
- Translate Bio (TBIO)
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
- Sanofi (SNY)
- AstraZeneca (AZN)
- Merck (MRK)
- Arcturus Therapeutics (ARCT)
- Genevant Sciences
CureVac’s recent financial results are such that its revenue has primarily been from licensing its proprietary platform and for milestone payments received; R&D and G&A expenses are typical for an IPO-stage biopharma firm.
Below are the company’s financial results for the past two and ¼ years (Audited IFRS for full years):
Source: Company registration statement
As of March 31, 2020, the company had $51.3 million in cash and $235.2 million in total liabilities. (Unaudited, interim)
CureVac intends to raise $100 million in gross proceeds from an IPO of its common shares, although the final amount may be different.
Majority shareholder Dietmar Hopp has indicated an interest to purchase shares of up to EUR100 million in the aggregate at the IPO price, a positive signal of investor ‘support’ for the IPO.
Management says it will use the net proceeds from the IPO as follows:
to advance our lead oncology program, CV8102, which is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial through the completion of the Phase 2 clinical trial;
to advance our lead vaccine program, CV7202, which is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial as a vaccine candidate for rabies through the completion of the Phase 2 clinical trial;
to fund clinical development of our mRNA vaccine program against SARS-CoV-2 that we are advancing in response to the global pandemic due to COVID-19 through the completion of the Phase 2 clinical trial;
to advance the development of our other preclinical and clinical programs;
to invest in further development of our mRNA technology platform;
to fund the expansion of our manufacturing capabilities; and
the remainder for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Management’s presentation of the company roadshow is not available.
Listed bookrunners of the IPO are BofA Securities, Jefferies, Credit Suisse and Kempen & Co.
CureVac is seeking to IPO in the U.S. to tap the market for further funding, after having raised at least $472 million so far.
The firm’s lead investor, Dieter Hopp, plans to purchase EUR100 million, though that amount may be subject to change.
CVAC has an extensive pipeline of drugs across cancer treatments, vaccines (including Covid-19) and rare disease genetic programs.
The market opportunities for these various treatments in the aggregate is large but would take another entire post to detail. Suffice it to say that the aggregate size is in the tens of billions of dollars worldwide.
Management has extensive collaborations with major pharma firms and top tier research institutions, so the firm’s programs have significant scientific validation or interest in that regard.
BofA Securities is the lead left underwriter and IPOs led by the firm over the last 12-month period have generated an average return of 60.2% since their IPO. This is a top-tier performance for all major underwriters during the period.
CureVac presents quite an impressive pipeline and potential for life science investors.
When we learn more about the IPO, I’ll provide an update.
Expected IPO Pricing Date: To be announced.
(I have no position in any stocks mentioned as of the article date, no plans to initiate any positions within the next 48 hours, and no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. IPO stocks can be very volatile in the days immediately after an IPO. Information provided is for educational purposes only, may be in error, incomplete or out of date, and does not constitute financial, legal, or investment advice.)
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