Medical Innovation Exchange

Kyverna raises IPO expectations by $100M, now eyeing almost $300M for latest biotech listing of 2024

Kyverna Therapeutics is looking to capitalize on a more healthy public marketplace, boosting estimates for its IPO haul by around $100 million. 

The cell therapy biotech predicted last week that it would sell over 11 million shares priced somewhere between $17 and $19 apiece. But the company has presumably received some positive feedback to its plans, and today revealed in an SEC filing that it is now looking to sell 14.5 million shares priced between $20 and $21 each.

Assuming the final share price falls in the middle of this updated range, Kyverna anticipates it will rake in $297.3 million in gross proceeds—significantly above the $182 million it was estimating last week.

Kyverna’s leadership have perhaps been heartened by the positive signs that public investors have been doling out so far this year. Of the four biotechs that have already closed IPOs in 2024, three have seen their share price rise on their debuts. Only Fractyl Health, a gut-focused biotech with no therapeutics in the clinic, has seen its stock fall.

Kyverna and preclinical gene editing biotech Metagenomi are the two remaining biotechs in this year’s first tranche to finalize their offerings. The latter said this week that it’s looking to raise a modest $87 million, likely a nod to the fact that the vast majority of investors have cautioned preclinical companies from an IPO. How Metagenomi fares could be a fiscal harbinger for other biotechs with little to no clinical data. 

Kyverna is a canary in its own right, with the coal mine being investors’ belief in cell therapy’s ability to treat autoimmune disease. The biotech’s lead asset, KYV-101, originated from the National Institutes of Health and was designed to have a more tolerable chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) than other candidates. Though the autologous asset was first tested as a cancer treatment in a 20-person phase 1 study, the larger plan is to aim it at autoimmune diseases.

The first two rheumatology indications Kyverna is trying are lupus nephritis and systemic sclerosis. The biotech has two ongoing trials for patients with lupus and snagged a greenlight from the FDA in October 2023 to launch a systemic sclerosis trial; Kyverna is also developing KYV-101 as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.

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