IGM Biosciences hasn’t skipped a beat capitalizing on all the new love pouring in for its stock. Just hours after unveiling a deal with Sanofi worth up to $6.15 billion – including $150 million in immediate cash – the biotech is set to raise $200 million in a public offer.
Dedicated to the development of the class of antibodies from which it takes its name, IGM said the product will fund ongoing clinical work, new discovery efforts and manufacturing construction. It also offers an option for subscribers to purchase up to an additional $30 million.
The company’s stock price, $IGMS, soared 64.23% to $24.62 on Tuesday morning.
Sanofi has indicated interest in buying up to $100 million in stock, the company noted.
While IGM’s current candidates are all in the area of cancer, he has ambitions to bring the IgM platform into infectious diseases as well as autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, in addition to oncology programs and of immunology that he is developing for Sanofi.
Carrie Brodmerkel, formerly Global Head of Exploratory Biology and Scientific Strategy at J&J’s Janssen R&D, joins the group as CSO of IGM Autoimmunity and Inflammation.
Compared to IgG antibodies – what people usually think of when talking about therapeutic antibodies – IgM has many more binding sites.
“You can think of an IgM in very rough terms as five IgGs arranged around a pizza-like structure,” CEO Fred Schwarzer said during an investor call Tuesday morning. “If you take the sixth bite of the pizza, that’s where a binding protein called a joining chain, or J-chain, converts IgM to a pentamer. IgM has 10 binding units compared to the two binding units binding of the IgG antibody and this gives the IgM antibody a strong advantage and full binding power.
By simultaneously binding to multiple cell surface receptors, the theory is that IgM antibodies would be more potent agonists, stimulating action within the cell.
This is being tested on several candidates, including IGM-2323 for relapsed/refractory B-cell NHL; IGM-7354, an IgM IL-15 x PD-L1 antibody; IGM-2644, a bispecific T cell engager targeting CD38 and CD3 proteins; and IGM-2537, a bispecific T cell engager targeting CD123 and CD3 proteins.