March 14, 2019

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Precision Biosciences hoping to raise $100 million through an IPO


DURHAM
A biotechnology company based in downtown Durham has filed plans to go public — a move that could net the company around $100 million.

Precision BioSciences, which has offices at the historic Venable Center in downtown Durham, filed plans on March 1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The company would trade under the ticker symbol “DTIL,” according to the filing.

The company, which has around 130 employees, is developing a genome editing platform called ARCUS, which the company hopes to use to treat diseases such as cancer, as well as in sustainable food production.

The company plans to use proceeds from the public offering to complete the clinical trials of one cancer treatment, support development of two other disease treatments and build out a manufacturing facility in Research Triangle Park.

The company is currently the biggest tenant at the Venable Center on Pettigrew Street in downtown Durham. The owners of the Venable Center are currently planning a 200,000-square-foot expansion of the campus that will include more office space and apartments.

So far, Precision has raised $300 million in financing from outside investors, including venBio, Franklin Templeton, Cowen Healthcare and Gilead, among others.

The company has never made a profit, and while its revenue numbers have grown, its expenses have grown faster over the past two years due to research and development investments.

Last year, the company posted revenue of $10.9 million, a 68 percent increase on its revenue of $6.5 million in 2017. But the company’s operating expenses went from $28.5 million in 2017 to $58.5 million in 2018 — a 105 percent increase.

Precision also has around $103 million in cash on hand.

The company is led by Matthew Kane, who co-founded the company in 2006 and is now the company’s chief executive officer. Kane holds an MBA from Duke University and made a total of $1.6 million last year, according to the company’s filing. Kane currently owns 5.6 percent of the company.

The company’s biggest shareholders are currently: venture capital firm venBio (owns 11 percent of the company); Robert Adelman, managing partner of venBio (11 percent); Jeff Smith, Precision’s chief technology officer (10.8 percent) and Derek Jantz, Precision’s chief scientific officer (10.8 percent).

 

[Originally posted by News & Observer — March 4, 2019]

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