Ottawa-born Turnstone Biologics goes public on Nasdaq, expects to raise US$80M

Turnstone stock image

An Ottawa-born biotech startup that landed more than $170 million in venture capital is going public on the Nasdaq exchange.

Turnstone Biologics – which develops cancer-fighting viruses and was founded by three Ontario medical researchers, including Dr. John Bell of the Ottawa Hospital – was expected to begin trading on the New York-based stock exchange on Friday under the symbol TSBX.

The company is offering 6,666,667 common shares at a price of US$12 per share for total estimated proceeds of US$80 million. The offering is expected to close next Tuesday, and Turnstone has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase an additional one million shares at the initial IPO price.

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It’s another major step for Turnstone, which made headlines two years ago when it secured a US$80-million series-D financing round. At the time, it was the largest venture capital deal for an Ottawa company in nearly three years.

Now headquartered in San Diego, Turnstone still maintains an office in the ByWard Market. According to Nasdaq, the company had 112 employees as of June 30.

Turnstone is developing groundbreaking treatments that use the body’s own immune system to battle cancer. The firm is widely regarded as a leader in the emerging field of immunotherapy, in which viruses that attack malignant tumours are administered to patients.

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