SoftBank-backed Neumora seeks $2.74 billion valuation in US IPO

(Reuters) -Neumora Therapeutics, backed by Amgen and Japan’s SoftBank, is seeking a valuation of up to $2.74 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, as the biopharmaceutical company looks to ride a revival in stock market listings.

Neumora, which is developing drugs for brain disease, is offering 14.7 million shares at $16 to $18 apiece, its filing showed, potentially raising $264.8 million at the top end of the range.

Watertown, Massachusetts-based Neumora’s announcement comes as grocery delivery service Instacart, SoftBank’s chip designer Arm and marketing automation firm Klaviyo prepare for their IPOs, signaling a thaw in the market.

The IPO market was frozen for the past two years, partly because the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike campaign to tame rising prices triggered fears of a recession, denting investor appetite for new issues.

Neumora said in July that it was planning to start the first of its three late-stage U.S. clinical trials for its lead experimental drug to treat major depressive disorder in the third quarter.

Its second trial is slated to start in the fourth quarter in the United States, Canada and Latin America, while the third will cover much wider geographies, including Asia Pacific and Europe.

Neumora, founded in 2019 with the backing of venture capital firm Arch Venture Partners, expects to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “NMRA”.

In 2021, Amgen also made a $100 million equity investment in Neumora, giving it the right to develop and sell several of Amgen’s experimental drugs for neurodegenerative illnesses on a global scale.

JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are the lead underwriters for the offering.

(Reporting by Pritam Biswas and Jaiveer Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Shounak Dasgupta and Anil D’Silva)