Startup Behind AstraZeneca Covid 19 Vaccine Plans To File Publicly For U.S. IPO Within Days

Vaccitech is among a handful of once-obscure biotechs that have found opportunity in the pandemic. Its co-founders are Oxford scientists who led the development of the Covid-19 vaccine. The university supported the company when it spun out in 2016, and some Oxford backers hoped Vaccitech would list shares in London, but Vaccitech executives insisted on Nasdaq in New York, the Journal previously reported.

Vaccitech confidentially filed paperwork last year as groundwork for a listing. The Financial Times earlier on Wednesday reported the confidential listing. A number of investors in the recent fundraising are expected to participate in the offering, according to people familiar with the plans and marketing documents viewed by the Journal.

Backers see the planned listing as potentially leading to one of the biggest market debuts of an Oxford spinoff in years. But investors have had concerns about the Covid-19 vaccine’s rocky rollout, the Journal has reported. Those concerns have continued with questions about serious blood clots among a small number of people who have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. European and U.K. regulators are investigating the rare but potentially deadly clotting issues for any link to the shot. People close to Vaccitech say perceptions of the vaccine were also tarnished by confusion over U.S. clinical-trial results last month.

Vaccitech’s relationship with Oxford also has been marred by tensions over the company’s role in the vaccine and the terms of Oxford’s AstraZeneca deal, according to people close to the company and university.

Vaccitech plans to use technology underpinning the vaccine to advance clinical trials for treatments targeting prostate cancer, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus. A key part of that technology uses an altered form of a chimpanzee cold virus to ferry genetic material into the human body to boost the immune system and fight infection.

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​Europe's top drug regulator endorsed AstraZeneca's vaccine after it was suspended in several countries over blood-clot concerns. WSJ explains what's at stake for a shot that's been widely used around the world and may soon be considered for emergency use in the U.S. Photo: Mykola Tys/SOPA Images

Write to Jenny Strasburg at jenny.strasburg@wsj.com

Source : https://www.wsj.com/articles/startup-behind-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-plans-to-file-publicly-for-u-s-ipo-within-days-11617806694

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