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Sequencing Startup Singular Genomics Files for $100M IPO

NEW YORK – Singular Genomics, a company developing a new DNA sequencing platform, is planning a $100 million initial public offering, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a registration statement filed May 7, 2021, the San Diego-based company outlined its plans to enter the genomic and multiomic analysis market. The firm said it is developing a proprietary sequencing chemistry that will undergird two different instruments: the G4, a benchtop, mid-throughput DNA sequencer, and the PX, an instrument that will use sequencing as a readout for applications in single-cell and spatial multiomic analysis.

Singular Genomics proposes to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "OMIC."

JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Cowen are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering and as representatives of the underwriters. UBS is also acting as a book-running manager.

Singular Genomics was founded in 2016 by CEO Andrew Spaventa, CSO Eli Glezer, and board member David Barker — former VP and CSO at Illumina and current chair of the board at Bionano Genomics. Spaventa is also managing partner of Axon Ventures, which invested in Edico Genome, acquired by Illumina in 2018 for an undisclosed amount.

According to the firm's website, it has received investments from Casdin Capital, Perceptive Advisors, OrbiMed, Deerfield Management, Section 32, Domain Associates, Revelation Partners, F Prime Capital, and Coatue.

In its SEC filing, the company said it sold and issued approximately $130.5 million in convertible promissory notes to investors including Deerfield, Section 32, Revelation, and Spaventa's investment firm Axon Capital in a private placement in February. The notes accrue 6 percent interest per annum and will automatically convert into an unspecified number of shares of common stock with the completion of the offering. Their conversion price will be equal to the lower of either 80 percent of the IPO share price or the price per share obtained by dividing $1.5 billion by the fully-diluted capitalization of the company prior to completion of the offering.

For the three months ended March 31, Singular Genomics had R&D expenses of $6.6 million, compared to $4.0 million in the year-ago quarter. General and administrative expenses were $3.7 million, compared to $1.3 million a year ago. The firm posted a net loss of $23.9 million in Q1 2021, or $2.05 per share, compared to a loss of $5.3 million, or $.52 loss per share a year ago.

For full-year 2020, the firm had R&D expenses of $21.2 million, compared to $10.5 million in 2019. G&A expenses for 2020 were $6.3 million, compared to $2.3 million in the prior year. The firm posted a net loss of $27.9 million in 2020, or $2.64 per share, compared to a loss of $12.3 million, or $1.43 loss per share, in 2019.

The weighted-average number of shares used to calculate EPS was approximately 11.7 million in Q1. As of March 31, Singular Genomics had $45.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and $104.6 million in short-term investments.

In addition to Barker, several other Illumina veterans hold leadership roles, including President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Daly, who is also Thrive's former CEO, and senior VP of corporate development and strategy Jorge Velarde.

According to Singular Genomics, it is developing a "unique and proprietary chemistry, including novel chemical compounds, polymers, and enzymes" that "enables high sequencing accuracy and rapid cycle times," along with new imaging systems. The company claims to have developed an "optimized cluster amplification method" as well as a method of so-called "paired-end equivalent sequencing" for fast and efficient reagent usage.

This technology will be featured in the G4 benchtop sequencer and PX instrument.

The G4 sequencer will run kits addressing specific applications, including oncology and immune profiling. Singular Genomics claims to have completed beta testing and plans to have an early-access program and commercial launch by the end of the year, with units shipping in the first half of 2022.

The PX Integrated Solution "includes a well-plate format intended to push the boundaries of throughput for both single-cell and spatial analysis applications," Singular Genomics said in its prospectus. It will also run a menu of kits that use sequencing as a readout. The company plans to offer early access to the instrument in 2022, with a planned commercial launch in 2023. It added that it believes the single-cell and spatial analysis markets to be worth approximately $17 billion this year.

Singular Genomics declined to comment on its technology and business plans, citing the required quiet period following the filing.

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