IPO priced for biotech working on drug against chin fat

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Kythera Biopharmaceuticals has stuck an expected price range of $14 to $16 per share on stock in the biotech group's proposed initial public offering, seeking to raise funds to advance an injected drug for elective treatments to wipe out chin fat. The Los Angeles company proposes to sell 4 million shares of common stock in the IPO with an additional 600,000 in over-allotment shares, meaning the maiden offering could raise a total of $73.6 million, according to a regulatory filing.

The venture-backed company aims to use proceeds of the IPO to fund late-stage development of ATX-101 in pursuit of FDA approval, with top-line results of its U.S. and Canadian studies of the injected treatment expected in mid-2013, the company said. The drug could provide people with an alternative to surgery to remove submental fat that can appear as a double chin, and there are no FDA-approved meds available for this use, according to the company.

Kythera seeks to capitalize on the growing U.S. market for aesthetic treatments, which the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says hit nearly $10 billion in 2011 with non-surgical procedures growing almost 5 times as fast as surgeries, Kythera noted in its regulatory filing. Consumers have embraced injections of Botox as a way to look youthful without going under the knife, and Kythera (previously known as Dermion and Aestherx) aims to offer ATX-100 for people whose current options include liposuction and other surgeries.

In 2010, Bayer grabbed a license to Kythera's drug for outside of the U.S. and Canada, and in June, the healthcare powerhouse forked over $33.3 million to Kythera as part of the two companies' deal. Bayer and Kythera face plenty of rivals. While there are no FDA-approved drugs for melting away double chins, there is a range of both non-approved and sanctioned therapies for fighting fat on the market, according to Kythera. For instance, the FDA has green-lighted systems that use cooling, laser energy and ultrasound energy to reduce fat.

- here's the filing
- see the L.A. Biz report

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