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Prelude Therapeutics to raise $100M in share sale

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Prelude Therapeutics Wilmington Delaware

Prelude Therapeutics wills sell several million new shares of stock this month to raise $100 million in new capital to fund its drug pipeline studies. | PHOTO COURTESY OF NASDAQ

WILMINGTON – Prelude Therapeutics, the clinical-stage precision oncology company, announced Thursday that it’s selling millions of new shares in the publicly traded company to raise $100 million to support its drug pipeline.

The sale marks the first major capital infusion in two years for Prelude, which is currently based at the DuPont Experimental Station but preparing to move into a new headquarters at the Chestnut Run Innovation & Science Park this year.

The company raised $172 million in its initial public offering (IPO) in September 2020 and then an additional $150 million in January 2021 through a share sale. Since then, however, Prelude’s stock has fallen from a historic high of nearly $89 per share to $5.58 per share at close Thursday.

News of the new shares diluting current holdings dropped the company’s share price about 11% Thursday. Prelude had about 47.7 million shares on the market at the end of the first quarter.

Officials also released an investor presentation that updated its work on small-molecule drugs targeting lymphoma, breast cancer and more. Four of its drugs are in Phase I clinical trials right now with initial results expected later this year. Positive results in those trials could drive higher share prices as the research advances toward a commercial drug.

Proceeds of the stock sale, most of which will likely be purchased by institutional investment funds like its largest shareholder, New York hedge fund Baker Bros., will help fund the advancement of its drug pipeline. The company had about $18 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of the first quarter, necessitating the need to raise new capital with nearly $29 million in operating expenses in the last quarter.

The underwritten public offering includes more than 3 million shares of voting common stock and 1.44 million shares of its non-voting common stock, each at a price to the public of $5.75 per share. Prelude is also offering pre-funded warrants to purchase up to 12.89 million shares of its common stock at $5.7499 per pre-funded warrant, which allow institutional funds to obtain the rights to future shares without holding its voting rights.

 A 30-day underwriter option to purchase also includes up to an additional 2.6 million shares of common stock.

In total, the stock sale is expected to raise about $100 million, closing around May 22, the company reported. Morgan Stanley is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.

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