Gene editing startup Precision BioSciences goes public, raises $126M

Posted by on Mar 28, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. – A genome editing company based in the Triangle raised $126.4 million in an initial public offering on Wednesday.

Durham-based Precision BioSciences Inc. sold 7.9 million shares of stock at a public offering price of $16 per share. When it initially filed for its IPO, the company had hoped to raise $100 million.

Precision will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker DTIL beginning Thursday.

Precision is a genome editing company dedicated to improving life through its proprietary ARCUS genome editing platform. The company leverages ARCUS in the development of its product candidates, which are designed to treat human diseases and create healthy and sustainable food and agriculture solutions.

Precision stated in its initial filing that “management will retain broad discretion” over the net proceeds from the IPO. Resources might be spent to pursue particular research programs or product candidates that are less successful or profitable as well.

The company also said it may use some of the proceeds to in-license, acquire or invest in other businesses and assets.

Precision raised $88 million in a private equity offering in June 2018. The largest shareholder of the company, according to SEC filings, is the venBio Global Strategic Fund LP, which owns 9.0 million shares, or 11.0 percent of Precision.

The company reported a net loss of $47.9 million in 2018 on $10.9 million in revenue. As of Dec. 31, 2018, Precision had $103,193 in cash and cash equivalents.

In a previous filing, the company stated that it is heavily dependent on the successful development and translation of ARCUS, which is still in the early stages of product development operations.

The company is led by Chief Executive Officer Matthew Kane.

Kane boasts nearly 15 years of experience in the life sciences industry and was formerly with Suros Surgical Systems Inc., an Indiana-based medical device manufacturer, which was later acquired by Hologic Inc., a medical technology company.

Kane has led the company since its inception in 2006 and serves on Precision’s board.

For the 2018 fiscal year, Kane received $1,587,131 in total compensation, including $350,000 in base salary.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Jefferies LLC and Barclays Capital Inc. are acting as joint book-running underwriters for the offering.

Precision has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,185,000 additional shares of common stock at the public offering price.

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