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Another class of biotech companies are about to go public in Massachusetts

An aerial view of Kendall Square in Cambridge.
An aerial view of Kendall Square in Cambridge.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Massachusetts is about to see another class of young biotech firms take the next step and become public companies, with a flurry of filings in just the past few weeks.

While the universe of big-name, independent public companies has been shrinking in recent years, the biotech industry continues to pump out promising young businesses angling to become the next Moderna or Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Last year there were 21 biotech companies in the state that completed an initial public offering, according to the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, a 110 percent increase from 2019, and collectively raised $3.9 billion. They include Beam Therapeutics, Relay Therapeutics, and Foghorn Therapeutics.

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So far this year, Cambridge biotech Vor Biopharma has gone public, raising $177 million. Here’s a roundup of other local biotechs that recently announced plans to go public.

Centessa Pharmaceuticals (CNTA)

Centessa, a Cambridge-based online conglomerate formed by the merger of 10 biotech startups, disclosed in a public filing last week that it is planning to go public.

Centessa is focused on developing medicines for diseases ranging from cancer to respiratory disorders. With trials spanning the discovery phase to late-clinical, Centessa said it expects to have more than a dozen results over the next three years, including some in 2021.

Tango Therapeutics (TNGX)

Cambridge biotech Tango Therapeutics is planning to go public through a $353 million deal with a special-purpose acquisition company. The SPAC, called BCTG Acquisition Corp., is backed by Boxer Capital, one of the biotech’s investors. Tango is focused on precision cancer medicine.

SPAC mergers have become a popular way for firms to go public, as an alternative to traditional IPOs, and several Boston area companies are rumored to be potential targets. According to MassBio, two of the four biopharma companies that went public via SPAC mergers last year were based in Massachusetts: Boston-based Cerevel Therapeutics and Cambridge-based Gemini Therapeutics.

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TScan Therapeutics (TCRX)

Waltham-based TScan Therapeutics is seeking to go public with an initial public offering of up to $100 million, according to a document filed with the SEC.

The preclinical firm is working on treatments that focus on T cells, which play a role in the body’s immune system response. By harnessing information from T cells in recovering cancer patients, TScan aims to essentially reprogram the same cells in other patients.

Since the company’s inception in 2018, it has raised $160 million in venture capital from biotech heavyweights, including RA Capital Management, Novartis Venture Fund, Bessemer Venture Partners, and GV, formerly Google Ventures.

Werewolf Therapeutics (HOWL)

Werewolf, an early-stage oncology startup in Cambridge, was founded in 2017 and emerged from stealth two years later with $56 million in venture capital. In January, Werewolf raised another $72 million in a round led by Boston-based RA Capital Management, and now the firm is eyeing a $100 million IPO. All its programs are in the preclinical stage.

Werewolf filed a document with the SEC on Monday indicating that it plans to offer 6.3 million shares between $15 and $17.






Anissa Gardizy can be reached at anissa.gardizy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @anissagardizy8.