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Cancer Biotech Raising $147 Million in IPO

Wall Street signs

(A. Kotok)

30 April 2015. Blueprint Medicines, a developer of cancer therapies that block enzymes supporting tumor growth, is raising some $146.7 million in its initial public stock offering. The Cambridge, Massachusetts enterprise, listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol BPMC, issued 8.15 million shares at $18.00.

The company began trading today with its share price going as high as $23.89, but settling back to $18.80 by the closing bell, up 4.4 percent over the IPO price. By comparison, NASDAQ’s biotechnology stock index fell today by more than 3 percent.

Blueprint develops cancer therapies that limit the actions of kinases, enzymes supporting cancer growth resulting from genomic mutations. The company’s technology is designed to generate treatments for patients that address their precise genomic alterations, with a library of kinase inhibitors referencing some 200 kinases. The company says these kinase inhibitors can be the building blocks for powerful cancer-fighting medications.

Blueprint’s lead drug candidates are still in preclinical testing. Earlier this month, the company reported on tests of its BLU-285 therapy that aims to block kinases released by mutations in a gene (KIT exon 17) associated with gastrointestinal stromal tumors or GISTs, at a meeting of American Association for Cancer Research.

The tests show the highest doses of BLU-285 resulted in significant tumor regression in mice induced with gastrointestinal stromal tumors and prevented regrowth of the tumors for 28 days. Blueprint says it plans early-stage clinical trials of BLU-285 later this year.

The company reported last week on another therapy, code-named BLU-554, that limits activity of mutations generating the enzyme fibroblast growth factor receptor 4, associated with hepatocellular carcinoma, a common type of liver cancer. Tests of BLU-554 reported at the International Liver Congress, show that mice induced with hepatocellular carcinoma from amplified fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 had complete tumor remission when treated with the highest doses of BLU-554. Blueprint also plans early-stage trials of BLU-554 later this year.

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Hat tip: Fortune/Term Sheet

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