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Foundation Medicine Files to go Public with an Offering of up to $86.3M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cancer genomics firm Foundation Medicine has filed to go public, with a target goal of raising as much as $86.3 million.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm has not yet priced its shares or said how many shares it plans to offer in its initial public offering. It plans to list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol "FMI".

Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Securities are the joint book-running managers on the offering. Leerink Swann and Sanford Bernstein are also named as underwriters on Foundation's Form S-1, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission late Monday.

Foundation said it plans to use net proceeds from its IPO to expand its commercial operations, as well as its laboratory operations. It also anticipates conducting new clinical trials to demonstrate the use of its products and to support its reimbursement efforts. Proceeds would also be directed at expanding the company's technology infrastructure and capabilities for its molecular information platform.

In January, the company raised $13.5 million as part of its Series B financing round. That was on top of $42.5 million it raised as part of the same financing round in September 2012.

In its Series A round completed in 2011, Foundation raised $33.5 million.

Founded in 2009, Foundation uses next-generation sequencing to provide clinically actionable genomic information about a patient's cancer, enabling physicians to optimize treatments and drug makers to develop targeted therapies. Its first clinical product, called FoundationOne, provides molecular information about a patient's cancer that can be used in the patient's routine care.

FoundationOne was launched in June 2012 for solid tumors, and the company anticipates launching the product for blood-based cancers in early 2014, it said in its Form S-1.

Foundation also said in May that it and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center would co-develop a molecular diagnostic tool to match patients with hematologic cancers with the most appropriate targeted therapies or clinical trials. The tool would be complementary to FoundationOne, which currently evaluates 236 biologically relevant cancer genes for all classes of genomic alterations and reports its results generally within 14 to17 days.

The market opportunity for a product like FoundationOne is about $4.0 billion today and is expected to surpass $7.5 billion in the next few years, Foundation Medicine added.

More than 1,500 physicians from large academic centers and community-based practices in more than 25 countries have ordered FoundationOne, which is run out of Foundation's CLIA laboratory, and the company continues accelerating its adoption by expanding its sales force, publishing scientific and medical advances, reaching out to the oncology community, and developing new products.

Also, 18 pharmaceutical partners use the company's molecular information platform as part of their efforts to develop targeted oncology therapeutics. The most recently announced deal was announced in April with Agios Pharmaceuticals to develop diagnostics for Agios' drug candidates.

Other pharma partners have included AstraZeneca, Eisai, and Novartis.

For the three months ended March 31, Foundation recorded $5.2 million in revenues, which translated to a net loss of $7.2 million. For full-year 2012, revenues totaled $10.6 million, while its net loss was $22.4 million.

It had $45.8 million in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, it said. As of the end of May, it had 118 full-time employees.

The company said in its SEC document that earlier this month, it entered into a five-year deal with Illumina, under which Illumina will supply Foundation with sequencers, reagents, and other consumables for use with Illumina sequencers. Illumina will also supply service contracts for the maintenance and repair of sequencers.

Foundation's management team consists of Michael Pellini, president, CEO, and director; Steven Kafka, COO; Kevin Krenitsky, chief commercial officer and SVP; Robert Hesslein, general counsel and SVP; and Jason Ryan, VP finance.

The largest shareholder in Foundation is Third Rock Ventures, which has about a 31 percent stake in the company, prior to the offering, Foundation said in its Form S-1. Also, KPCB Holdings owns about 17 percent of the company, while Google Ventures has a 12 percent ownership stake. Laboratory Corporation of America, Gates Ventures, and Wellington Management each own about 5 percent of Foundation.

Foundation's planned IPO follows NanoString Technologies' and Cancer Genetics' entries into the public market after a prolonged period during which the IPO space was essentially closed to omics and molecular diagnostic firms. Additionally, Cellular Dynamics International went public last week, and Intrexon filed to go public earlier this month. On Monday, it priced its IPO at a range of $14 to $16 per share.

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