Arcellx – Leveling Up By Challenging Assumptions
One year after Rami Elghandour joined Arcellx, Inc., a cell therapy company based in Gaithersburg, MD, and Foster City, CA, as the company’s new chairman and CEO, he took the company public, netting $128 million and funding operations into the second half of 2023. If the IPO had occurred in 2020 or 2021, it may not have been all that surprising. Instead, Arcellx completed its IPO in February 2022, a time when key biotech stock indexes continued a precipitous drop that began in the second half of 2021, causing many biopharma companies to delay IPO plans indefinitely.
It wasn’t Elghandour’s first rodeo. In 2011, he led a $58 million Series B financing round for Nevro Corp., a Silicon Valley-based neuromodulation medical device company, representing Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC), where he worked as principal, venture investments. In 2012 Elghandour departed JJDC for Nevro, and was promoted to president in 2014, and CEO in 2016. Nevro went public in 2014, completing its IPO with net proceeds of approximately $131 million. The experience of Nevro’s pre-COVID IPO road show, which Elghandour describes as “brutal, but memorable,” was a learning experience. The biggest difference between Nevro’s IPO in 2014 and Arcellx’s IPO in 2022, says Elghandour, was the financing environment. “It was a pretty big achievement for us to be able to go public in this market,” says Elghandour. “I think it’s a reflection of the incredible company and people we have, as well as the clinical data and progress we’ve made.”
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