Structure Therapeutics has closed its initial public offering of $161 million, at a time of industry-wide pessimism when investors have forecast a belt-tightening year for pharma.
“This is the largest IPO since Prime Medicine back in October,” Daniel Chancellor, the director of Citeline’s thought leadership and consulting program, says via email. “The IPO window definitely isn’t open, but no doubt investors will be following the performance of companies brave enough to raise public funds in such a down market.”
Structure champions a protein structure–based and computational approach to drug design. Its primary targets are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), a family of membrane proteins that transmit cellular signals. About a third of all medications are aimed toward affecting GPCRs. Structure’s target is reflected in its Nasdaq stock symbol: $GPCR.
The firm’s portfolio consists of small molecules for treating metabolic, heart, and lung conditions. Its lead program, an agonist of the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R), treats diabetes and obesity, and has completed dosing in Phase 1 clinical studies. GLP-1R is a hot target for a number of companies, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Amgen. There’s currently a shortage of the Novo Nordisk GLP-1R agonist Wegovy, a diabetic drug repurposed for achieving weight loss.
CEO Raymond Stevens, who founded Structure in 2016, was formally a provost professor of chemistry at the University of Southern California. While at Scripps Research in California in the late aughts and early 2010s, Stevens and his collaborators unveiled the first-ever high-resolution crystal structures of several GPCR proteins.
Formerly named ShouTi, Structure landed a $100 million in a series B round in 2021.