May 8, 2018 / 8:58 AM / 6 months ago

UK biotech firm Autolus joins CAR-T rush with Nasdaq IPO filing

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Autolus Therapeutics, a small British company developing cell therapy treatments, is to join the swelling ranks of listed biotech companies using the new anti-cancer technology with a planned IPO on Nasdaq.

The group said on Tuesday it had filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) under the ticker symbol AUTL.

The number of its American depositary shares to be sold in the IPO and the pricing terms have not yet been determined.

Autolus is developing chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) treatments to fight blood cancers and, hopefully, also solid tumours.

The first two CAR-T treatments from Novartis and Gilead Sciences won U.S. approval last year for rare blood cancer and a number of start-up companies, as well as large drugmakers, are investing heavily in the space.

Autolus, which was spun out from University College London in 2014 and uses cell technology pioneered by Dr. Martin Pule, is aiming to develop next-generation CAR-T treatments that it hopes will have an edge over the first wave of therapies.

Its backers include Syncona, Woodford Investment Management and Arix Bioscience. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely)

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