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Biotech Company to Go Public in $86 Million IPO

Sickle-shaped and normal blood cells

Sickle-shaped and normal blood cells (Medline/NIH)

GlycoMimetics Inc., a biotechnology company in Gaithersburg, Maryland, filed its registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of common stock. Fortune Magazine’s Term Sheet page reports the company aims to raise $86.25 million through the IPO, and trade on the Nasdaq exchange under ticker symbol GLYC.

GlycoMimetics discovers and develops therapies acting on carbohydrates in cell processes. The company says carbohydrate structures account for much of the complexity and functions of proteins, with nearly all proteins expressed by human cells affected by complex carbohydrates on the surface of those proteins.

The therapies discovered and developed by GlycoMimetics are synthesized compounds that mimic the structure and activity of carbohydrates, designed to function like traditional drugs, but also to enhance biological functions more than natural carbohydrates. The company says its drug candidates address unmet medical needs, including sickle cell disease, myeloma, pancreatic cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and AIDS.

GlycoMimetics’s lead candidate is GMI-1070, developed in partnership with Pfizer. The drug aims to treat painful vaso-occlusive crisis episodes occuring in patients with sickle cell disease, a genetic disorder affecting more than 80,000 people in the U.S. During a vaso-occlusive crisis, the flow of blood is blocked due to sickle-shaped cells that become stuck in the blood vessels.

In April 2013, the company reported on an intermediate-stage clinical trial testing GMI-1070 against a placebo, with 76 patients hospitalized for vaso-occlusive crisises. The results show patients — both children and adults — treated with GMI-1070 experienced shorter vaso-occlusive crisis, fewer days in the hospital, and lower use of narcotic pain relief. Pfizer will be responsible for further clinical trials and commercialization.

The company is funded by three investment rounds raising a total of $60 million, each round led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation by Genzyme Ventures, Alliance Technology Ventures, Anthem Capital, PTV Sciences, and the State of Maryland. One of GlycoMimetics’s founders and current CEO is Rachel King, a former executive with New Enterprise Associates.

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