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Infectious Disease Test Firm Talis Biomedical Files for IPO

NEW YORK ─ Infectious disease point-of-care diagnostic test company Talis Biomedical on Friday filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to go public on the Nasdaq.

Menlo Park, California-based Talis has not priced the offering but said in its Form S-1 that it plans to sell about 42.7 million shares of its Series 1 convertible preferred stock. The firm said that underwriters for the deal have a 30-day option to purchase additional shares of common stock.

JP Morgan, Bank of America Securities, and Piper Sandler are the joint bookrunners on the deal.

Talis said that the principal purposes for the offering are to obtain additional capital to support its operations, create a public market for its common stock, and facilitate future access to the public equity markets. The company said it anticipates using the net proceeds from the offering and existing cash for working capital and other general corporate purposes. It added that it may also use a portion of the net proceeds from the offering to in-license, acquire, or invest in complementary businesses, technologies, products or assets, but it has no current plans to do so.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2020, Talis reported $10.7 million in revenues, a more than fourfold increase over $2.5 million in revenues for the first nine months of 2019. For the same period in 2020, Talis posted a net loss of $46.9 million, or $15.49 per share, compared to a net loss of $19.8 million, or $26.37 per share, in the first nine months of 2019. The weighted average shares used to calculate its net loss per share through Sept. 30, 2020 was 3,029,664 and to calculate its net loss per share through Sept. 30, 2019 was 752,339.

Talis is developing the Talis One platform, a sample-to-answer, cloud-enabled molecular diagnostic platform that could be rapidly deployed to distributed diagnostic settings worldwide to diagnose infectious disease at the point-of-care. The platform consists of a compact instrument, single-use test cartridges, and software.

The startup was founded by Brian Coe and Rustem Ismagilov, a professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, as well as two researchers who did their graduate work with Ismagilov, Liang Li and Feng Shen. Talis, which licensed technology from CalTech and the University of Chicago, was originally called SlipChip but has since changed its name to Talis.

In July, the National Institutes of Health awarded a total of $248.7 million in contracts to Talis and six other biomedical diagnostic companies under its Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative to support a range of new lab-based and point-of-care tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said in its SEC filing that it is developing Talis One tests for respiratory infections, infections related to women’s health, and sexually transmitted infections. This month, it plans to submit a request for Emergency Use Authorization to the US Food and Drug Administration for its Talis One platform with a COVID-19 molecular diagnostic assay for the automated detection of nucleic acid from the SARS-CoV-2 virus in nasal swabs.

The firm said that its regulatory strategy is to initially submit for the equivalent of a CLIA-moderate authorization to be followed shortly thereafter with a filing for the equivalent of a CLIA-waived authorization for use in non-laboratory settings.

The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol TLIS.