SQZ Biotech Shot for $70M-plus IPO on the NYSE to Fund Cell Therapy R&D
The Watertown, MA-based biotech ,SQZ Biotechnologies has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange on October 30, 2020 under the ticker symbol “SQZ”. The Pricing of Initial Public Offering is $16.00 per share of 4,411,765 shares. The company has raised $70M to develop its cell therapies.
SQZ (pronounced “squeeze”) was formed from the lab of MIT’s Bob Langer in 2013. The founder and CEO, Dr. Armon Sharei, invented the Cell Squeeze® technology during his PhD at MIT. It physically squeezes cells at high speeds through a microfluidic chip, temporarily opening the cell membrane and enabling biologic material of interest, or cargo, to diffuse into the cell before the membrane reseals. This technology allows SQZ to create a broad pipeline of product candidates for different diseases.
From SQZ Company Website
The company has developed three platforms, including that for targeting antigen-presenting cells (APCs), for activating antigen carriers (AACs), and for tolerating antigen carriers (TACs). SQZ’s initial focus areas are oncology, infectious disease, and immune disorders. Pipelines with top priorities include its Roche-partnered antigen presenting cell (APC) tech, which is currently in Phase I for HPV and solid tumors.
Roche began its partnership with SQZ in 2015, That alliance aimed to use the SQZ technology to develop cancer cell therapies based on B cells, a type of immune cell. In 2018, Roche entered a $1.37 billion-plus deal to focus the technology on immuno-oncology. The biotechs are using the platform to deliver antigens intended to induce a storm of CD8 killer cells to fight cancer. SQZ says it’s been able to process the cells in 24 hours and return them to patients for infusion in a week.
Viva Ventures Biotech Fund participated in the Series C fundraising of SQZ Biotech in 2018.
Company Website: https://sqzbiotech.com/