Graybug Vision files for $86 Million IPO on NASDAQ

The clinical-stage ocular disease biotech spin-out from Johns Hopkins prepares for IPO under veteran leadership, awaiting positive trial data.

September 14, 2020

Graybug Vision, an Ocular disease biotech, filed with the SEC on September 4, 2020 for an $86 million IPO on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol GRAY. SVB Leerink, Piper Sandler, Needham & Co. and Wedbush PacGrow are the joint underwriters on the offering, for which pricing terms were not disclosed.

The Phase 2 biotech is developing potentially transformative long-acting therapies for ocular diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), retinal vein occlusion (RVO), and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). It has recently advanced its lead asset, GB-102,into both a phase 2b clinical study (the ALTISSIMO study) in wet AMD as well as a Phase 2a study in macular edema secondary to DME or RVO.

Graybug Vision was founded in 2011 based on proprietary technology developed out of the world-renowned Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2016, former CEO Jeff Cleland moved the company’s headquarters to Redwood City, CA. However, Baltimore, MD remains home to Graybug’s Research Center and several key leadership personnel, including Ming Yang, Vice President, Research and Development, Yun Yu, Associate Director, Research, and Founder and Justin Hanes, Founder and Director.

Former Novartis ophthalmology franchise head, Fred Guerard, replaced Cleland as CEO in February 2019. Guerard led the integration of Novartis’ retinal therapeutics with pharmaceuticals from the Alcon acquisition. Past CEOs of the company included Jeffrey Cleland and founder, Michael O’Rourke.

In preparation for the IPO, Graybug announced the appointment of Robert S. Breuil who joined the 30 person company as Chief Financial Officer on September 4th, succeeding Daniel Geffken, founder and managing director of Danforth Advisors, who led the function as ad-interim CFO.

Leading up to this funding event, Graybug raised an $80 million Series C financing in August 2019, lead by CBC Group, a new investor, who joined existing investors Deerfield Management, OrbiMed Advisors, Hatteras Venture Partners, a fund managed by Blackstone Life Sciences, and other new investors in the round. In 2016 the company raised a $44.5M Series B financing was led by Deerfield Management Company, L.P.  TEDCO’s Maryland Venture Fund was among the earlier seed and Series A investors in the company.

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The company’s proprietary injectable products are designed to enable less frequent administration to reduce the burden of treatment for patients and their physicians. The company’s lead clinical-stage injectable product, GB-102, has the potential to achieve 6-month dosing in the treatment of retinal diseases. GB-401 has the potential to achieve 4 to 6-month dosing in the treatment of elevated IOP associated with POAG.

On March 18, 2020 Graybug announced the conclusion of patient enrollment in its Phase 2b Clinical Trial of GB-102 in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration for which it projected patient read-out data to be released in six months – or around September-October 2020. The company also accelerated its ALTISSIMO trial read-out expectations by Approximately Six Months.

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Chris Frew
Over the past 8 years, Chris has grown BioBuzz into a respected brand that is recognized for its community building, networking events and news stories about the local biotech industry. In addition, he runs a Recruiting and Marketing Agency that helps companies attract top talent through a blended model that combines employer branding and marketing services together with a high powered recruiting solution.

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