Ayala Pharmaceuticals raises $55m in Nasdaq IPO

Roni Mamluk

The Israeli company is developing notch inhibitors for aggressive cancers that are in Phase II trials.

Israeli biotech company Ayala Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AYLA) has raised $55 million on Nasdaq, 10% more than planned. The company offered 3.7 million shares at $15, the midpoint of the $14 to $16 range, and more than the 3.3 million shares it originally intended offering. The company is developing Notch inhibitors for aggressive cancers that are in Phase II trials.

The company’s share price ended its first day of trading on Friday up 0.03% at $15.03, giving a market cap of $182.1 million.

Citi and Jefferies acted as lead managers on the deal.

Ayala Pharmaceuticals is one of the most promising companies in the portfolios of the SBI, aMoon, and IBF funds and of insurance company Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd. (TASE: HARL). It was founded in 2017 by its investors on the basis of intellectual property originally from Bristol-Myers Squibb. The company is headed by Dr. Roni Mamluk, and its chairman is Dr. David Sidransky, a partner at IBF (Israel Biotech Fund).

The company specializes in the treatment of a certain type of cancer (cancer that presents Notch pathway mutations), and is at the Phase II stage of trials with patients with a mutation of this kind in ACC, a rare cancer that generally affects the saliva glands. The group of patients is small, but one through which the company’s therapeutic approach can be demonstrated. Notch genetic pathways are relevant in other cancers, including some that are much more common.

Ayala’s most recent previous fund raising round was in May 2019. It raised $30 million. The round was led by pharmaceuticals company Novartis, which tends to invest in companies of this kind when it believes that it may be interested in collaborating with them in the future. Under the agreement with Novartis, Ayala received a further $10 million. Up until the current offering, the company had raised a total of $70 million.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on May 10, 2020

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