- Translate Bio said Tuesday it's undertaking a $90 million secondary offering, raising money to further its development efforts for its experimental cystic fibrosis treatment.
- The Massachusetts biotech went public last year and is focused on developing therapeutics that use messenger RNA.
- The raise prices the stock at $10 a share with a planned closing date of Sept. 20. Shares of the Massachusetts-based biopharma dropped nearly 10% in early trading Wednesday, down from a $10.99 Tuesday close.
Translate is raising money as it shifts its focus to pulmonary disease treatments.
In a release last week, the company highlighted its experimental cystic fibrosis treatment called MRT5005, adding it's looking at additional ways to tackle pulmonary disease.
At the same time, Translate disclosed it discontinued development of the liver-targeted therapy MRT5201, designed to treat ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency. Preclinical studies showed disappointing results in terms of the safety and pharmacokinetic profile, the company said.
Translate plans to use the money raised from the offering to focus on MRT5005 and identify other possible products, as well as for general corporate purposes, according to its prospectus. The company reported it had about $147 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at the end of June and said the offering should secure enough funds to get MRT5005 through a Phase 1/2 trial.
Translate describes MRT5005 as a first-in-class mRNA therapy that targets the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis.
Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is newly in focus as a potential therapeutic approach following work by well-funded biotech Moderna, among others. Rather than a protein therapy, mRNA-based medicines aim to spur production of therapeutic proteins by delivering the corresponding nucleic acid code into cells.
Translate expects data from the dosing portion of the ongoing clinical trial to be announced in 2020. It’s also studying potential treatments for primary ciliary dyskinesia, pulmonary arterial hypertension and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in preclinical research.
“We believe that the success to date in our cystic fibrosis program positions us well to build on our lung delivery platform and maximize the potential of our mRNA technology in additional pulmonary diseases with unmet medical need,” Translate CEO Ronald Renaud said in the company’s statement last week.
The company has also worked to shore up manufacturing for its mRNA products. Last week, Translate announced a five-year manufacturing agreement with Albany Molecular Research, Inc.
Citigroup, Jefferies and SVB Leerink are the joint book-running managers for the secondary offering.