The IPO Buzz: Turnstone Biologics (TSBX Proposed) Launches $75 Million IPO

Cancer biotech Turnstone Biologics (TSBX proposed) set terms for its $75.4 million IPO and launched the deal early today (Monday, July 17, 2023) for pricing at the end of the week. Turnstone’s launch marks the fourth biotech IPO this month. The La Jolla, California-based biotech plans to offer 5.8 million shares at $12.00 to $14.00. The IPO is expected to price Thursday night, July 20, to trade Friday, July 21, on the NASDAQ. 

BofA Securities, Leerink & Piper Sandler are the joint book-runners.

The fast launch of Turner Biologics’ deal – the fourth biotech IPO this month – was viewed by some as a sign that this sector might be warming up slowly after being frozen for nearly two years. Last week, three biotech IPOs were pricedApogee Therapeutics (APGE) and Sagimet Biosciences (SGMT) plus a tiny unit IPO, 60 Degrees Pharmaceuticals (SXTP/ SXTPW).

Turnstone Biologics is a Phase 1 clinical biotech company developing TILs – tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes – a type of cell therapy that harnesses the patient’s own immune cells to target their tumors and kill cancer cells. Turnstone has started two Phase 1 clinical trials for its lead candidate, TIDAL-01:

  • A multi-site trial to treat breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and uveal melanoma, which is a rare type of cancer of the eye, and

  • An investigator-sponsored trial with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, in both cutaneous and non-cutaneous melanomas.

The company expects to provide an initial clinical update from both trials in mid-2024, the prospectus says.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals of Japan has entered into a non-binding agreement to indicate interest in buying up to $8 million of stock in the IPO, according to the prospectus. If that does not happen, then Turnstone Biologics says it will sell $8 million of stock  to Takeda in a private placement that will run concurrent with the IPO.

The IPO proceeds will be used to provide funding for the Phase 1 trials.

For the 12 months that ended March 31, 2023, Turnstone Biologics had collaboration revenue of $81.89 million and a net loss of $18.1 million. The collaboration revenue was all from Takeda, which has ended its collaboration agreements with Turnstone Biologics, according to the prospectus.

As an early-stage biotech, Turnstone Biologics has no revenue generated from product sales.

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