UChicago spinout Pyxis Oncology is aiming to raise more than $153m in its initial public offering, having set a price range of $14 to $16.

Pyxis Oncology, a US-based cancer therapy developer spun out of University of Chicago (UChicago), set the price range for its proposed IPO at $14 to $16 yesterday. The spinout plans to issue 8.34 million shares on the Nasdaq Global Market to list under the ticker symbol PYXS. At the lower end, Pyxis would generate nearly $117m in proceeds, rising to more than $133m at the top end and as much as $153m including the greenshoe option. Founded in 2018, Pyxis is working on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and immunotherapies for cancers that are difficult to treat. Its underlying research was conducted by Thomas Gajewski, the AbbVie Foundation professor of pathology at UChicago. Gajewski co-founded Pyxis with John Flavin, who was at the time the associate vice-president of entrepreneurship and innovation at UChicago. Proceeds from the offering would go towards the preclinical development of the spinout’s three programmes and, should these be successful, the progression into the clinic. Money would also be allocated to discovery programmes, the in-licensing of assets and other business activities. Pyxis raised $152m in a series B round in April 2021 co-led by Arix Bioscience and RTW Investments, with participation from pharmaceutical firm Ipsen, its peer Pfizer’s investment arm Pfizer Ventures, and pharmaceutical and chemical group Bayer’s Leaps by Bayer unit. Perceptive Advisors, RA Capital Management, BVF Partners, Janus Henderson Investors, Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Acuta Capital Partners, Ridgeback Capital Investments and Surveyor Capital also took part. The series B round additionally attracted Laurion Capital Management, Logos Capital, LifeSci Venture Partners, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, Longwood Fund and Agent Capital. Pyxis had already secured $22m in a series A round backed by UChicago’s Startup Investment Program – which supplied $300,000 – in 2019. The series A round was led by Leaps by Bayer and also included Ipsen, Longwood and Agent Capital. Pfizer is the largest shareholder ahead of the offering with a 12.9% stake, expected to drop to 9.4%. Other notable shareholders include Bayer (12.3% pre-IPO), Perceptive Life Sciences (6.9%), Arix and RTW (6.4% each), RA Capital (5.8%) and Longwood (5.5%). BofA Securities, Jefferies, Credit Suisse Securities (USA), William Blair & Company and LifeSci Capital are the underwriters for the proposed offering. You can find out more about UChicago’s ecosystem in our interview with Jay Schrankler, the associate vice-president and head of the Polsky Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, on the Talking Tech Transfer podcast.

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Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).