The German biotech company BioNTech has filed for a Nasdaq IPO to raise up to €90M, a much lower amount than the estimates of over €700M that analysts had predicted.
The proposed IPO comes just two months after BioNTech raised a massive €290M Series B round. The company has stated that the funds will be used to take forward multiple preclinical and clinical programs that the company is currently running. They include mRNA drugs, CAR T-cell therapy, T-cell receptors, antibodies and small molecule drugs for cancer indications, as well as mRNA therapies for infectious and rare diseases.
In addition, some of the funds will cover BioNTech’s portion of ongoing collaborations with Genentech, Sanofi and Genmab. Part of the proceeds will also go towards expanding the company’s laboratories and manufacturing facilities.
With such a broad pipeline, the IPO will not be enough to keep taking all programs forward. “We expect that we will need to raise significant additional funds beyond this offering in order to continue to advance our pipeline,” stated the company in the official IPO filing.
Earlier this year, Reuters reported that BioNTech was planning an IPO that could be worth as much as €725M ($800M). After that, the company went on to raise a huge Series B round in July, which might have suggested BioNTech would wait for longer before going public.
However, the company reported issues with a Hong Kong investor that took part in the Series B round and was supposed to make an investment of €87.7M. That payment has been delayed, potentially indefinitely, due in part to “ongoing geopolitical disruptions in Hong Kong and the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China” as stated in the filing.
If the funds have not been paid by the time of the IPO, BioNTech plans to take those shares back from the investor. In that case, the company stated that it might have to raise funds again sooner than initially expected.