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Boundless Bio breaks IPO lull with $100M fundraise

Dive Brief:

  • Boundless Bio, a cancer drug developer backed by Bayer and Arch Venture Partners, has raised $100 million in the biotechnology industry’s ninth initial public offering this year.
  • The San Diego-based company priced 6,250,000 shares at $16 apiece on Wednesday, meeting projections it set last week. Shares will begin trading on Thursday on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol “BOLD.”
  • Boundless’ offering is the first in more than a month, ending a short break in biotech IPO activity. Still, new stock issuances have now totaled $1.3 billion in 2024, the most for the sector in three years and suggestive of rising investor interest.

Dive Insight:

Boundless is something of an outlier among the biotechs that have recently gone public. More than half of the drug companies that have priced IPOs since January 2023 have had drugs in Phase 2 testing or later, as do the only three companies from the 2024 class — CG Oncology, Kyverna Therapeutics and Alto Neuroscience — that trade above their offering price, according to BioPharma Dive data.

By comparison, Boundless is earlier in its journey, with a pair of drugs in Phase 1 testing. Similar companies haven’t fared as well with IPO investors, with only six going public since the start of 2023 and raising an average of $63 million. The pattern reflects a trend in biotech as investors have turned to safer bets in the wake of the industry’s recent downturn.

Boundless’ offering shows there is still room for earlier-stage drugmakers, which industry insiders see as critical for the sector to reestablish IPO momentum.

Boundless’ new funds will go toward development of drugs that target extrachromosomal DNA, or ecDNA, which can harbor cancer genes. According to the company, ecDNA can help cancer cells grow and develop resistance to drugs.

One of Boundless’ drugs blocks an enzyme involved in ecDNA replication, while another inhibits an enzyme implicated in its repair. Both are in Phase 1 testing, with results expected later this year and in early 2025, respectively.

Though Boundless’ offering is the sector’s first since mid-February, more may soon follow. Three other biotechs, including Versant Ventures-backed Contineum Therapeutics, revealed offering plans in March. IPO research firm Renaissance Capital wrote in a recent report that it expects more biotechs to IPO in the second quarter.

Industry insiders interviewed by BioPharma Dive have said there are many others waiting to test the market, though some don’t anticipate the pace of new offerings to rise until later this year.

“Improving returns and rumblings in the backlog still signal a clear IPO pickup through the spring and into the summer,” Renaissance wrote in its report.

Boundless raised $254 million in private financing before its IPO. Arch is its largest shareholder, with a 16% pre-IPO stake. Fidelity and RA Capital each held more than 10% of shares prior to the offering, while Bayer owned about 9% of the company.