Hyperion Therapeutics is hoping that the prospect of its first drug launch will lure investors in on a $57 million IPO. Late last week Hyperion filed documents with the SEC outlining its plans to sell shares in the company, just a few months after the FDA accepted its NDA for Ravicti, a new treatment designed to lower the level of ammonia in the blood to treat urea cycle disorders (UCD) and hepatic encephalopathy.
Ravicti has already won orphan drug status in its quest for recognition in the UCD field, a condition that afflicts one in every 10,000 newborns. Hyperion has an October 23rd PDUFA date with the FDA and says it will start marketing the treatment in the first half of 2013--if the approval comes through. An approval for that condition will clear the path for its clinical development of the treatment for hepatic encephalopathy.
There has been a rash of new biotech IPOs in recent weeks, with Tesaro, Stemline and Durata all in the queue. Supernus has also dusted off its IPO plans and Merrimack managed to go public at the end of March. Like most other biotech companies which went public, Merrimack had to significantly cut the price of its shares. Analysts will be watching this new group of IPOs closely, hoping to see signs that investors may finally start warming to such offerings after three chilly years.
Hyperion raised $100 million in its B and C round. Venture backers include Bay City Capital, Highland Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Sofinnova Venture Partners. Ucyclyd, a subsidiary of Medicis, is also listed as an investor. Hyperion has an option to buy the only currently approved therapy of UCD from Ucyclyd, using money from the IPO to fund the deal.