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Genome Editing Firm Precision BioSciences Prices $126.4M IPO

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genome editing company Precision BioSciences today priced the initial public offering of its common stock, and is aiming to raise $126.4 million in gross proceeds from the sale.

The company priced 7.9 million shares of common stock at $16 per share, and is granting the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase approximately 1.2 million additional shares at the IPO price. The shares began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol DTIL today, and the offering is expected to close on April 1.

JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, and Barclays are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.

Precision's proprietary genome editing technology is ARCUS, a next-generation genome editing platform based on a synthetic enzyme called ARC that is meant to act as a homing endonuclease. Homing endonucleases are site-specific DNA-cutting enzymes that can precisely recognize long DNA sequences of 12 to 40 base pairs which typically occur only once in a complex genome. ARC's structure has improvements in specificity, and it can be optimized to control potency based on desired cutting activity in a relevant model organism, according to Precision's website.

The company said it is using the ARCUS platform to actively developing product candidates in allogeneic CAR T immunotherapy, in vivo gene correction, and food and agriculture.

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Precision said it plans to use the net proceeds from the IPO to support its operations; to initiate and complete a Phase 1/2a clinical trial for its CD19 CAR T cell product candidate; to advance and expand the development of its other CAR T cell product candidates and its allogeneic CAR T immunotherapy platform, including the submission of an investigational new drug application for each of its CD20, BCMA, and CLL-1 CAR T cell product candidates; to advance and expand the preclinical development of its in vivo gene correction platform, including early discovery efforts, chemistry, manufacturing, controls, and IND-enabling studies; to fund the building of a manufacturing facility; to fund new and ongoing R&D activities; and for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

Precision's shares rose more than 12 percent to $17.95 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.