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BioGenerator Company Galera Therapeutics Goes Public with $60M IPO

Nov 07, 2019

Galera Therapeutics has raised a $60 million in an initial public offering.

The company, which is developing treatments to reduce the harmful effect of radiation therapy, raised the $60 million by selling 5 million shares of its common stock at $12 per share per share. In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Galera said it expected to sell its shares at between $14 and $16 per share.

The stock was trading at $12.03 in late-day trading.

The amount of the IPO could climb by another $9 million if underwriters exercise their full option to purchase an additional 750,000 share to cover overallotments.

Founded in 2009, Galera has 26 employees and is led by Dr. J. Mel Sorensen, the company’s president and CEO. The company was co-founded by Robert Beardsley, now Galera’s chief medical officer, and Dennis Riley, chief scientific officer. Beardsley and Riley previously worked at Kereos, a St. Louis biotechnology company.

Galera’s (NASDAQ: GRTX) largest stockholder is New Enterprise Associates, which owns 3.9 million shares, or about 16% of the company’s outstanding shares. Sorensen is the largest individual shareholder with 686,000 shares, followed by Beardsley with 391,000.

Galera operates locally at the Helix Center in the 39 North innovation district. The startup leases about 1,100 square feet of office space and about 1,125 square feet of laboratory space here, according to regulatory documents. St. Louis investors in Galera have included the St. Louis Arch Angels, BioGenerator and Cultivation Capital.

The Arch Angels and BioGenerator were both key to Galera’s early stage development, with the two organizations participating in the startup’s seed financing. Galera moved its headquartered from St. Louis to Pennsylvania in 2012 in order to be near Sorenson, who led a Pennsylvania-based biopharmaceutical company prior to his role with Galera.

The company, according to the SEC documents, plans to use the bulk of its IPO proceeds to advance the clinical development of its lead new drug candidate, GC4419, which is in late-stage clinical testing to treat severe oral mucositis, or SOM. SOM is a common and debilitating complication of radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer.

The funds will also be used to advance its new drug candidates in early testing as a potential treatments, one designed to treat the anti-cancer effectiveness of stereotactic body radiation therapy and the other to potentially treat radiotherapy-induced esophagitis. The remainder of the IPO proceeds will be used to fund new and ongoing research and development activities and for working capital.

Galera’s IPO comes a little more than a year after the company announced it raised $150 million in a Series C financing and royalty purchase agreement. That financing was the largest-ever Series C funding round for a St. Louis bioscience company, officials said.

BofA Securities, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and BTIG served as underwriters Galera’s IPO.