Sana raised a total of $587.5 million from its Initial Public Offering after ensuring that 23.5 million shares were released into the market.
Sana Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: SANA) stock on its market debut on Thursday recorded a significant surge of 40% on its shares. This sends its market capitalization to $6.38 billion. Its performance on the US stock market reflects the anticipation of the shares before its launch. The operations of Sana are led by several co-founders of Juno Therapeutic, a biopharmaceutical company based in Seattle, and founded in 2018. Some of the leading underwriters of the offering include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, BofA Securities, and Morgan Stanley.
According to reports, Sana raised a total of $587.5 million from its Initial Public Offering after ensuring that 23.5 million shares were released into the market. This launch has made history as the largest-ever IPO for a biotech company. Contrary to the usual $25 per share, Sana opened its shares at $35.
Over the years, $865 million has been raised by Sana in funding from investors. As indicated in Pitchbook, some of the investors include Arch Venture Partners, a venture capital firm, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Baillie Gifford, Alaska Permanent Fund, Bezos Expeditions, Omega Funds, GV, F-Prime Capital, and many other unnamed institutions.
The company’s valuation is expected to rise even higher in 2021 with global economies hoping to recover from the massive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Analysts have noted that Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) a company that has come up with an authorized Covid-19 vaccine has a trajectory similar to Sana. When its IPO was launched in 2018, it had a market valuation of $7 billion and similarly made a record with its offering in the biotech industry. It previously had no marketable product but a significant number of investors’ interest coupled with a high valuation. A couple of years down the line, investors are enjoying sevenfold of what they bought previously. In the first nine months of 2020, Sana spent $150 million on R&D compared to the $80 million spent in the same period in 2019.
The current operation of Sana is in line with the usual operation of biotech companies. Their initial stages are usually marked with being far from launching any marketable products. After going through some stages which mostly take a few years, they begin to venture into marketable products.
Concerning its functions, Steve Harr, the Chief Operating Officer of the company, in an interview disclosed that Sana is focused on replacing damaged cells in the body and modulating genes in cells. The company has made progress to extend its services to providing potential therapies to central nervous system diseases, heart diseases, cancers, and other dangerous diseases. Currently, the company’s Vivo cell engineering program in the preclinical stage has priorities given to Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, sickle cell diseases, non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and others.