MiNK the Agenus Cell Therapy spinoff makes its mark on Wall Street with $40M IPO

MiNK Therapeutics secured its Nasdaq spot Friday with a $40 million initial public offer. This was to allow MiNK Therapeutics to move its lead candidate through phase I trials in multiple types of cancers.

New York City’s biotech company makes its public debut at $12. The Agenus spinout is now able to finance multiple early-stage studies on lead asset AGENT-797. This allogeneic, allogeneic, iNKT-cell therapy, allows it to get onto Wall Street. MiNK planned to spend $13 million of the IPO price range on the early development of the lead candidate and a combination study of AGENT-797 and PD-1/CTLA-4 inhibitors.

This study will focus on treating non-small cell lung carcinoma, head and neck carcinoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Rapidly accelerate Proof-of-Concept by simplifying early phases of drug development The fully integrated approach combines drug substance, drug product and clinical activities. This allows for a shorter timeline of up to 18 months. It also saves time and costs by expediting lead molecules from FIH to POC trials. A phase 1/2 trial for the drug will be funded by the proceeds of $3 million.

This is a study in people suffering from graft-versus host disease. In this case, donated bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells are used to attack the body. A phase 1 trial of the drug will be funded by just over $1 million in multiple myeloma patients. Nearly $2 million will go towards the early-stage research of the drug in patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), as a result COVID-19.

Agenus concluded the COVID-19 dose-escalation trial in the second quarter, and phase 1/2 expansion trials for viral ARDS were underway, the company announced in August. This cash infusion will also help studies to bring MiNK’s CAR–iNKT-programs into human trial and to fund process validation and manufacturing batches of AGENT-797.

MiNK will next year ask FDA if the FDA can bring the CAR-iNKT program into the clinic. MiNK is headed by Jennifer Buell, Agenus President and Chief Operative Officer. Buell joined Agenus in September 2006 but then took nearly three years off to become the senior director of clinical program administration at Harvard Clinical Research Institute. She was back with Agenus in September 2013 as a vice-president.

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