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Editas Medicine, Backed By Google And Bill Gates, Files $100 Million IPO

Javier Hasse

Editas Medicine, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based drugmaker backed by Bill Gates and Google Ventures among others, filed its initial public offering paperwork on Monday. The company specializes in a new gene-editing technique called Crispr, and will become the first publicly traded firm to focus on this kind of technology, even though competition in the field is fierce.

The company filed for an IPO with an initial size of $100 million. That amount will probably change in the future, as the $100 million figure will be used to calculate fees and associated expenses. Moreover, the startup did not say in what range it would price shares or when it would go public – although they planned to list on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker "EDIT."

Nonetheless, the filing did say that Editas already raised $163.3 million from selling preferred stock to private investors like Bill Gates and Google Ventures, along with other backers like Sun Microsystems' co-founder Vinod Khosla.

The SEC filing assured that the company would use roughly $15 million to $20 million of the proceeds from the IPO to fund studies on Leber congenital amaurosis, and another $22 million to develop Crispr-based gene therapies for cancer – in collaboration with Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: JUNO).

"We intend to use the remainder of the net proceeds from this offering for continued expansion of our platform technology, preclinical studies of our research programs in addition to LCA10 and engineered T cells, working capital and general corporate purposes," the SEC filing added.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

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