Case Study
August 21, 2018

Investing in Hope

When Goodwin client Surface Oncology Inc. went public with a $108 million initial public offering (while also selling $11.5 million in shares in a concurrent private placement to Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research), Surface relied on Goodwin’s expertise to guide the company in closing the $119.5 million aggregate financing.


The earliest immuno-oncology therapies, drugs that target the immune system to help attack cancerous tumors, typically reap long-term benefits for only a few patients. Surface recognized that this has much to do with the environment in and around the tumors that weakens the body’s immune response. Surface seeks to develop therapies that create and preserve anti-tumor immune responses in the tumor microenvironment, a task that requires substantial research, financing, and guidance.


Goodwin assembled a team across offices to advise Surface in their initial public offering and concurrent private placement to Novartis. Goodwin originally represented Surface when the company struck the Novartis collaboration. Goodwin’s team worked to close the IPO and the Novartis stock purchase at the same time. As a result, Novartis held 9.6% of Surface’s common stock.


Surface Oncology’s recent aggregate financing and collaboration with Novartis has allowed Surface to advance two programs into clinical development, which are designed to overcome immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, and restore the ability of the immune system to fight against tumors. “The successful completion of our IPO, and concurrent private placement with our partner, Novartis, is a significant achievement. We are now well financed to advance our programs already in the clinic and continue to develop innovative immunotherapies for patients in need,” said Jeff Goater, chief executive officer of Surface Oncology.