Kyverna overshoots raised IPO expectations, landing at $319M for autoimmune cell therapy mission

Kyverna overshoots raised IPO expectations, landing at $319M for autoimmune cell therapy mission

Apparently Kyverna Therapeutics wasn’t getting carried away when it raised its IPO expectations on Tuesday.

At the time, the cell therapy biotech increased its anticipated share price range from $17-$19 to $20-21, as well as the amount of shares to be sold from 11 million to 14.5 million. That meant the company was planning to rake in $297.3 million in gross proceeds—significantly above the $182 million that was estimated last week.

And yet Kyverna announced in a post-market release yesterday that even this updated estimate was on the unambitious side. In fact, the biotech is now selling those 14.5 million shares at the upsized price of $22 apiece. That brings the total gross proceeds to $319 million.

There’s a chance to push this haul up by a further $47.8 million if underwriters take up the 30-day offer to buy an additional 2.17 million shares.

The autoimmune-focused company’s stock will begin trading on the Nasdaq this morning under the ticker “KYTX,” and Kyverna’s leadership will likely be hoping to follow their peers in receiving a warm welcome. Of the four biotechs that have already closed IPOs in 2024, three have seen their share price rise upon debut. Only Fractyl Health, a gut-focused biotech with no therapeutics in the clinic, has seen its stock fall.

Kyverna’s lead asset, KYV-101, originated from the National Institutes of Health and was designed to have a more tolerable chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) than other candidates. Though the autologous asset was first tested as a cancer treatment in a 20-person phase 1 study, the larger plan is to aim it at autoimmune diseases.

The first two rheumatology indications Kyverna is trying are lupus nephritis and systemic sclerosis. The biotech has two ongoing trials for patients with lupus and snagged a greenlight from the FDA in October 2023 to launch a systemic sclerosis trial. Kyverna is also developing KYV-101 as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.

Analysts told Fierce Biotech last month that the successful public market debuts of CG and ArriVent suggested the biotech sector will be going through a “recovery phase” this year.

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