Birmingham-based IN8bio, Inc (Nasdaq: INAB) has completed its initial public offering, reaching a major milestone for a Birmingham-based biotech startup. The biopharmaceutical company was originally launched out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham by William Ho with technology invented by Lawrence Lamb, Ph.D., and focuses on the discovery and development of gamma-delta T cell therapies.
“We’re incredibly excited for the team at IN8bio, and really for the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Birmingham and Alabama – this is a major milestone that shows the momentum we are gaining in our innovation economy,” said Joshua Jones, CEO of Alabama Capital Network. “IN8Bio has gained international attention for their cutting-edge research and sets a marker for other biotech startups in the local ecosystem as the latest publicly traded biotech company in Alabama. As one of the early startups to present to ACN’s member network, we’ve seen an enormous amount of support from our investor members, and we’ve watched with excitement as they’ve become a true leader in their field.”
Headquartered in downtown Birmingham at Pepper Place, IN8Bio is building wet labs with over 10,000 square feet to expand their operations. “Their new facility is being built by internationally known architects and lab specialists and will rival anything found in San Francisco or Cambridge,” says Jon Nugent, an early advisor of IN8bio during his tenure as VP of Innovation at the Birmingham Business Alliance. “This is a company that universities and communities all over the world have wanted to move to their city… it’s exciting that they’ve committed to staying in Birmingham and continuing their work here. This is going to attract top talent from all over the country and is a major feather in our cap.
“This type of research commercialization has been our focus for the past five years and IN8bio is part of a long-term pipeline,” says Kathy Nugent, Ph.D., executive director of the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and chair of clinical and diagnostic sciences in the UAB School of Health Professions. “From UAB’s perspective, we’re focused on identifying technologies that lend themselves to commercialization, especially in biotech where they can impact global healthcare. This is a perfect example of how we can take an early-stage idea in the biotech arena, identify a top tier management team, keep it in Birmingham, get it into the clinic and have a successful IPO,” she notes. “Equally valuable is the national credibility it gives our local ecosystem when recruiting new executive talent like Will [Ho] to Alabama to help launch more biotech ventures.”
“One of the challenges in this space is just the technical complexity of biotech,” Nugent observed. “ACN was instrumental in helping IN8Bio connect with the investor community and get beyond the lab-speak to look at how this can be a tremendously successful commercial venture. They spent hours helping the team craft their pitch in a way that the business community could support and engage them.”
“Having local investors made it a lot easier for Will to commit to growing the company in Alabama,” observed Miller Girvin, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at EDPA (and ACN’s former CEO). “Because they stepped up and supported this early-stage life science company that hadn’t even started a clinical trial, there was a driver to keep that company here. IN8bio is an excellent example of where our ecosystem partners came together to support their own and this could be one of many for our region.”
Alabama Capital Network (ACN) is a member-driven organization focused on growing the innovation ecosystem in Alabama. By supporting companies like IN8bio, ACN seeks to provide strategic connections, coaching, and capital to entrepreneurs and innovators to help them accelerate transforming their ideas into successful companies. UAB is an Impact Partner of ACN.