Allogene begins Nasdaq trading at $18 per share

Living Drug

Allogene Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotech company specializing in allogeneic CAR-T (AlloCAR T) treatments for cancer, started trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange at $18 per share. The company, which launched in April 2018 with a $300 million Series A financing, is expecting to raise $288 million by selling about 16 million shares, reported Mark Terry in BioSpace.

Investors in Allogene, a Two River portfolio company, included TPG, Vida Ventures, BellCo Capital, the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer and Pfizer. In September 6, Allogene raised an additional $120 million private financing of Convertible Notes.

Allogene was co-founded by former Kite Pharma executives, Arie Belldegrun, and David Chang. Belldegrun, founder and former chair, president and chief executive officer of Kite, is executive chairman. Chang, former executive vice president, Research and Development and chief medical officer of Kite, is president and chief executive officer. Bother were involved in the development of Yescarta.

Allogene’s primary asset is UCART19, part of a deal acquired from Pfizer and Servier. Allogene received rights to 16 preclinical CAR-T licenses that Pfizer obtained from Cellectis and Servier. UCART19, which was licensed from Servier, is being developed in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Allogene and Servier are going to begin Phase II trials of UCART19 in 2019.

The company was co-founded by former Kite Pharma executives, Arie Belldegrun, and David Chang. Belldegrun, founder and former chair, president and chief executive officer of Kite, is executive chairman. Chang, former executive vice president, Research and Development and chief medical officer of Kite, is president and chief executive officer. They were both involved in the development of Yescarta.

Allogene and Servier plan to start Phase II trials of UCART19 in 2019. Pfizer still has an 8 percent ownership stake in Cellectis through an equity deal they signed in 2014.

According to Belldegrun, “While there is important work underway across the industry for next-generation autologous cell therapy, Allogene hopes to bring about the next revolution in the field with the successful development of allogeneic cell therapy and the potential for greater and faster patient access. Under the direction of David Chang, an extraordinary scientist, physician and life sciences business executive with over 30 years of unprecedented experience in developing cancer treatments, Allogene is poised to potentially lead the development of one of the most exciting opportunities in industry today.”