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Adagio files for IPO, sees need for COVID treatments for ‘years to come’

Tillman Gerngross, the cofounder and chief executive of Adagio Therapeutics.
Tillman Gerngross, the cofounder and chief executive of Adagio Therapeutics.

Adagio Therapeutics, a Waltham biotech, disclosed in a public filing Friday that it is planning to go public one year after it was founded to advance COVID-19 antibody therapies.

The company, which spun out of New Hampshire-based Adimab, is developing drugs that aim to treat and prevent illness caused by the coronavirus, and by new variants.

Although three COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration, it is Adagio’s idea that the current pandemic will continue to require a “variety of effective, safe and convenient treatment and prevention options for years to come,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Adagio cited vaccine hesitancy, individuals not getting a second dose of a shot or potentially a booster shot, and storage challenges associated with current vaccines as reasons that there is “robust commercial opportunity” for the one-shot antibody treatment it is developing.

The company said its lead candidate would require a single intramuscular dose in an outpatient setting, complement and supplement available COVID-19 vaccines, and potentially provide protection for one year. Antibody treatments are based on lab-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses.

The company said it could seek emergency use approval from the FDA as soon as the first quarter of 2022, pending the results of its clinical trials.

Adagio has raised $466 million from investors, including a $336 million funding round in April led by Boston’s RA Capital Management. The company disclosed in its SEC filing that its current financing will support its operations through March 2022.

Adimab, which licensed anticoronavirus antibodies to Adagio, is the largest stockholder in the firm, with a roughly 31 percent stake. Dartmouth professor and serial entrepreneur Tillman Gerngross is the cofounder and chief executive of both firms. Investors with more than a 5 percent stake in the company include Fidelity Management & Research Co., GV, Mithril, OrbiMed, Polaris Partners, and RA Capital.

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Adagio has about 70 employees and on Monday said it hired Pfizer’s global mRNA business lead, David Hering, who was in charge of the pharma giant’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as its chief operating officer.


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