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Codex DNA Closes $122.7M IPO

NEW YORK – Codex DNA has closed its initial public offering, raising approximately $122.7 million in gross proceeds before underwriting discounts, commissions, and other expenses. 

Shares of the San Diego-based synthetic biology firm began trading June 18 on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol "DNAY." In a statement, Codex DNA said it sold 7,666,664. shares at an offering price of $16 per share, including a fully exercised underwriters' option to purchase 999,999 shares at the offering price.

Jefferies, Cowen, and KeyBanc Capital Markets acted as joint bookrunning managers for the offering.

The firm plans to use the funds "for general corporate purposes, including working capital, and funding our research and development and sales and marketing activities." The firm added that it may use a portion to repay debt from a $15 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank and a $5 million loan from Oxford Finance.

In a registration statement filed May 28, Codex DNA outlined its plans to enter the synthetic DNA and messenger RNA manufacturing market. The firm has developed an automated benchtop workstation called the BioXp system.Codex DNA was previously known as SGI-DNA, launched in 2013 as part of Synthetic Genomics and spun off in 2019. Codex DNA's cofounder and chief technology officer, Dan Gibson, is the creator of the Gibson assembly method of cloning DNA. In September 2019, the firm received $25 million in a Series A financing round from Northpond Ventures, BroadOak Capital, and Oxford Finance.

For the three months ended March 31, Codex DNA had R&D expenses of $2.9 million compared to $2.0 million in the prior-year period. Sales, general, and administrative expenses were $4.7 million compared to $2.2 million a year ago. The firm posted a net loss of $7.4 million in Q1 2021, or $.48 per share, compared to a loss of $3.9 million, or $.26 per share, a year ago.

For full-year 2020, the firm had R&D expenses of $8.9 million, while SG&A expenses for 2020 were $11.1 million. The firm posted a net loss of $18.0 million, or $1.20 per share, in 2020.

As of March 31, Codex DNA had $17.6 million in cash.

In its first day of trading, shares rose to $21.49 before closing at $18.85. In Wednesday afternoon trading, shares of Codex DNA were flat at $20.50.

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