Waiting for IPO, ChemoCentryx Raises $50 Million from Glaxo

ChemoCentryx is supposed to be public by now, having filed for a modest $57.5 million IPO last November. But that obviously hasn’t happened, since the IPO window has since been nailed shut, painted over and covered in crazy glue. So what’s a VC-backed biotech company to do?

In the case of ChemoCentryx, the answer has been to take an additional $50 million from existing investor GlaxoSmithKline. peHUB learned that the unannounced deal closed within the past two months, and came at a higher valuation than did its Series D round in March 2007 ($30m round at a $188m post-money). GSK initiated the conversations, and other existing shareholders did not participate.

The deal provides ChemoCentryx with nearly as much cash as it hoped to raise via its IPO, which means that it has plenty of leeway to continue clinical trials on compounds designed to treat autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases and cancers. It does not, however, provide any future liquidity options for ChemoCentryx VCs, including some that first invested back in 2001. Perhaps that’s why the company has not yet withdrawn its IPO filing, and why it remains open to potential M&A conversations.

Prior to this round, ChemoCentryx had raised $104 million in VC funding, from firms like Alta Partners, GSK, Hare & Co., HBM BioVentures, HealthCap and OrbiMed Advisors. The company declined to comment on the round, citing regulatory restrictions.