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12 June, 2019 - 21:32 By Tony Quested

Bicycle Therapeutics firmly in the Nasdaq saddle after $60.6m IPO

Greg Winter

Cambridge cancer drug innovator Bicycle Therapeutics, which raised $60.6 million on its Nasdaq IPO in the US, has settled nicely on the American technology market.

Bicycle’s US share price was $11.90 at the time of going to press on Tuesday having fluctuated between $10.60 and a high of $13.75.

A company spokesman told Business Weekly the company was thrilled with the result of the IPO, even though the original target was $86m. In the event, Bicycle priced its offering of around 4.4 million shares at $14 a share – the low end of its targeted price range. 

Bicycle has US operations in Lexington Massachusetts and is developing drugs based on chains of amino acids called peptides. Peptide drugs are intended to offer properties of both large and small molecule drugs. The company, calls its drugs “bicycles,” a reference to the two-loop shape of its peptides.

The lead drug – BT1718 – is being tested in a Phase 1/2a study in patients with advanced solid tumours. 

Enrolment in the Phase 1 portion is underway; once the recommended dose of the drug has been determined, the company says it will proceed to the Phase 2a part of the trial. Two other compounds, BT5528 and BT8009, are in preclinical development.

Bicycle said in its IPO prospectus that it plans to spend between $35m and $40m for Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies for the lead drug. The company will also use the capital to advance its two preclinical compounds to human testing.

Since formation in 2009 Bicycle has raised around $116m and has broadened its horizons beyond cancer.

A collaboration with Cambridge neighbour AstraZeneca is looking at drugs to treat respiratory, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Haemophilia and dementia are other target markets through collaborations with Big Pharma players.

Bicycle’s proprietary phage display screening platform is based on novel science first conceived in the laboratory of Sir Greg Winter, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 for pioneering work in phage display. Business Weekly understands that Cambridge duo Kymab and F-star are also considering Nasdaq IPOs.

Cambridge-based GW Pharmaceuticals has already raised substantial funding for its cannabis-based medicines on the American exchange.

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