AstraZeneca-Backed ADC Therapeutics Weighs IPO, Sale

(Bloomberg) -- ADC Therapeutics SA, a Swiss biotechnology company whose backers include U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc, is in the early stages of exploring options including an initial public offering amid growing interest in innovative cancer treatments, according to people familiar with the matter.

ADC is working with advisers at Morgan Stanley on a preliminary review, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The Lausanne-based company -- which specializes in treatments that target cancer cells while sparing healthy ones -- is also considering a potential sale among the options, they said. The business could fetch an estimated value of about $2 billion, one of them said.

A potential listing could take place in the U.S., though the venue, timing and size of the share sale haven’t been determined, the people said. Deliberations about a listing or sale are preliminary and no final decisions have been made, they said.

ADC doesn’t comment on speculation about its financing alternatives, a spokesman said. A representative for Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

ADC raised $200 million in October from investors including AstraZeneca, Auven Therapeutics and investment funds Redmile Group and Wild Family Office, bringing its total fundraising to about $455 million since its inception in 2012. The company has capital through the end of 2019 and will weigh a Nasdaq listing as it pursues six clinical development programs in 2018, Chief Executive Officer Chris Martin said in an interview at the time.

AstraZeneca first invested in ADC in 2013, when its MedImmune biotechnology unit agreed to pay $20 million for a stake in the company.

ADC said last month the first patient has been dosed in its phase II clinical trial for its ADCT-402 drug in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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