A flurry of biotech initial public offerings is expected to make landfall next week.
Peloton Therapeutics, Ideaya Biosciences, Inc. and U.K.-based Bicycle Therapeutics Plc are expected to price on Wednesday. The companies are all oncology-focused, and are developing drugs targeting everything from transcription factors to the tumors themselves.
Here’s what you need to know about these three biotechs.
Peloton Therapeutics, Inc.
Despite its name, Peloton Therapeutics has nothing to do with exercise bikes. The biotech’s business hinges instead on two drugs that are designed to block a transcription factor called hypoxia-inducible factor-2 alphaαthat — among other things — regulates how the body responds to low oxygen levels. When there’s enough oxygen around, HIF-2 alpha is largely inactive, but under low-oxygen conditions, the molecule picks up steam and causes the body to make proteins that produce new red blood cells and blood vessels. In some diseases, something goes wrong in the HIF-2 alpha system, causing it to drive aberrant blood vessel growth and cell proliferation. That can result in tumors.
Peloton thinks getting HIF-2 alpha under control is the key to treating certain diseases, including certain types of cancer. The company’s lead product is an HIF-2 alpha blocker called PT2977, a potential treatment for advanced kidney cancer and kidney tumors caused by a genetic disorder called von Hippel-Lindau disease. PT2977 is currently in early-phase trials, and Peloton says it will begin enrolling patients for a Phase 3 trial later this year.
The other drug in Peloton’s two-drug pipeline is PT2567, an HIF-2 alpha blocker meant to treat a group of diseases that aren’t related to cancer. The drug is still in the pre-clinical stage of development, so it still has a long way to go before it gets anywhere near an approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
It’s no secret