Looking to Advance New Drugs to the Clinic, UChicago Spinout Pyxis Files for $100M IPO

Tom Gajewski, MD

Dr. Thomas Gajewski with graduate student Jason Williams at the Gordon Center for Integrative Science on the University of Chicago campus in Chicago in 2017. (Photo by Nancy Wong)

The University of Chicago spinout Pyxis Oncology has filed for a $100 million initial public offering (IPO) after earlier this year signing a worldwide licensing agreement with Pfizer and raising $152 million in its Series B funding round.

The company was founded around novel tumor biology built on the work of Thomas Gajewski, AB ’84, PhD ’89, MD ’91, the AbbVie Foundation Professor of Cancer Immunotherapy in Pathology, professor in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research, and a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

“This is a super exciting phase for Pyxis, as the company moves towards clinical testing of lead therapeutic candidates.”

– Thomas Gajewski

After pricing of the offering, the company expects that the shares will trade on the Nasdaq Global Market, or Nasdaq, under the symbol “PYXS,” per the documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on September 17, 2021.

Pyxis currently intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with its existing funding to advance its preclinical candidates (PYX-201, PYX-202, and PYX-203) through investigational new drug (IND) enabling studies. Depending on these results, the company would then move forward with FDA review of an IND submission and initiate Phase 1 clinical trials.

The funds also would be used for business development activities, including in-licensed programs, the identification and advancement of additional programs and development candidates, and to acquire, or invest in additional businesses, technologies, products or assets, according to the company.

“[T]he remaining proceeds for the continued advancement of our pipeline, milestones for previously in-licensed programs, hiring of additional personnel, costs of operating as a public company, and other general corporate purposes,” per the filing.

Gajewski founded and developed the concept for Pyxis in partnership with the technology commercialization team at UChicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The company to date has raised a total of $174 million, including a $22 million Series A round with a $300,000 investment from the UChicago Startup Investment Program.

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