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Guardant Health Files for $100M IPO

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today, Guardant Health filed for a $100 million initial public offering, with plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol GH.

JP Morgan and BofA Merrill Lynch are the lead underwriters on the deal, and Cowen, Leerink Partners, and William Blair are acting as co-managers. In its prospectus, Guardant proposed $100 million as the goal for the offering, though this is subject to change. The company has not yet specified the number of shares it is offering, nor at which price it plans to offer them.

In describing its goals, Guardant wrote that it estimates the market opportunity for its current commercial and pipeline products to be more than $35 billion in the US, "comprising applications for both clinicians and biopharmaceutical customers, and addressing early- to late-stage disease." The company's tests are currently targeted toward late-stage cancer, but it has also been developing tests for recurrence monitoring and early detection for several years.

In its filing, Guardant cited an American Cancer Society estimate of approximately 15 million solid tumor cancer survivors in the US in 2016. "We believe that these cancer survivors are candidates for screening tests for recurrence of their cancer and that this reflects a potential market opportunity of approximately $15 billion," the company wrote. Testing individuals with known risk factors like family history and smoking in order to detect cancers in the early stages could represent another $18 billion in market opportunity.

The company reiterated its plans to seek US Food and Drug Administration approval for its Guardant360 assay, which it believes may improve coverage and reimbursement for the test, which is already covered by Medicare and some other payors for specific indications in non-small cell lung cancer. According to Guardant, approximately 5,000 oncologists have collectively ordered more than 70,000 Guardant360 tests so far. The company wrote in its prospectus that it sold 25,754 tests to clinical customers in the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, up from 18,643 in the prior year and 11,801 in 2015. As of June 30, 2018, the firm had sold 13,969 tests compared to 12,080 in the same period of 2017.

The company said it saw revenues of $49.8 million in 2017 compared to $25.2 million in 2016.  In the first half of this year it reported $36.1 million in revenues, up from $18.7 million in the same period last year.

Based on the prospectus disclosure, pharmaceutical partnerships remain a significant contributor to Guardant's revenue. In 2016, 2017, and in the first half of 2018, Guardant said that revenue from its top five biopharma customers accounted for 19 percent, 30 percent, and 34 percent of its total revenues, respectively.

The company's net loss in 2017 was $83.2 million, compared to $46.1 million in 2016. And for the first six months of 2018, Guardant said it had a $35.5 million net loss, down from $39.6 million in the same period of 2017.

As of June 30, 2018, the company had accumulated a deficit of $231.2 million.