DiCE Molecules wants to join the party, not in Vegas, but on Wall Street, with another preclinical biotech IPO, taking on psoriasis behemoths Novartis, Eli Lilly, and Amgen. DiCE filed an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the standard $100 million IPO fill-in just one day after raising a $60 million Series C extension. DiCE, which is eight years old, raised $80 million in its first round of Series C funding in January. A total of $200 million has been submitted for the chronic illness and immuno-oncology firm.
DiCE’s flagship development, an oral antagonist that targets the interleukin-17 molecule, the route essential to Novartis’ Cosentyx and Eli Lilly’s Taltz, will benefit from the public offering. DiCE hopes to be the first oral medication licensed for the IL-17 target and plans to start a phase 1 trial in psoriasis soon, with results expected next year.
According to the South San Francisco biotech’s Wednesday filing, the lead asset, would be examined in at least two more IL-17-mediated chronic immunological indications. For its small-molecule platform, DiCE has already signed agreements with industry heavyweights Sanofi and Roche’s Genentech. In 2016, Sanofi paid up to $50 million in stock, upfront payments, and other fees, with a total potential of $184 million in a 12-target deal. However, the Genentech agreement did not pan out. The $4.5 million paid in 2017 and another $1.5 million paid in 2018 appeared to be for naught, as the corporations ended the deal two months ago.