Research Triangle Park company debuts on Nasdaq

Mark Velleca, CEO of G1 Therapeutics, took the biotechnology company public on Wednesday, raising $105 million.
Mark Velleca, CEO of G1 Therapeutics, took the biotechnology company public on Wednesday, raising $105 million. Special to The Herald-Sun

Research Triangle Park-based biotechnology company G1 Therapeutics Inc. debuted as a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq Stock Market Wednesday raising $105 million in its initial public offering.

The company offered 7 million shares of its stock priced at $15 per share. Shares of the company trade under the ticker symbol GTHX.

The price point of $15 per share was on the low end of the range of $15 to $17 per share the company announced earlier.

The company’s shares finished trading at its IPO price of $15 per share, though it did go as low as $13.35 per share during trading.

In comparison, the Nasdaq fell 2.57 percent, which was its steepest drop since June 24 – the day the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

G1 Therapeutics was founded in 2008 as G0 and renamed in 2012. Last year, the company raised $47 million in a Series C financing round, bringing its total funding to $93 million since 2012. It also received $500,000 in loans from the N.C. Biotechnology Center in 2011 and 2012.

Its investors include Hatteras Venture Partners, the Durham firm that provided G1 with $600,000 in seed money in 2012 and has participated in all three subsequent financing rounds.

While G1 has no approved cancer drugs on the market, the company said it has two promising candidates. It is developing an intravenous drug, called trilaciclib, to protect the bone marrow and immune systems of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy as well as an oral drug to stifle the cell division of breast-cancer tumors.

The company said in a filing that it plans to use approximately $45 million of the capital raised to advance trilaciclib, and a combined $35 million for two other drugs.

G1’s biggest stockholder is Hatteras Venture Partners, which controlled nearly 20 percent of the company’s shares before the offering. It would own a little more than 15 percent of the company’s shares after the IPO, according to the filing.

Other major investors include MedImmune Ventures (16.7 percent), Eshelman Ventures (15.4 percent) and RA Capital Healthcare Fund (10.7 percent).

The company has 31 employees, according to its filing. Trilaciclib is not expected to be on the market until 2019 at the earliest, CEO Mark Velleca told The News & Observer in 2016.

The company has accumulated a deficit of $65 million and had $47 million in cash or cash equivalents on hand as of the end of 2016. The company’s revenues have so far only come from government grants related to research.

G1 listed the financial firms J.P. Morgan, Cowen and Co., Needham & Co. and Wedbush Securities as the underwriters for the IPO. The underwriters will have the option to purchase up to 937,500 additional shares for a period of 30 days after the IPO.

This will be the first IPO in the Durham area in 2017. Last year, Dermatology company Novan raised $51.9 million in its IPO and pharmaceutical services company Patheon raised $640 million from its IPO.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes

About Nasdaq

The Nasdaq Stock Market is an American stock exchange. It is the second-largest exchange in the world by market capitalization, behind the New York Stock Exchange.