AzurRX discounts $5M IPO as Accelerated Pharma files for $17M offering

After a quiet summer, biotech IPOs are attempting to notch up a few more deals in the autumn, but things remain tough, as AzurRX gets off its IPO, but at a downsized offering, while Accelerated Pharma hopes to get off its proposed $17 million offering.

First up: AzurRX. The company is working on non-systemic biologics in GI disorders and has had to dip under its lowest range of $6 to $8 to just $5.50, raising a small $5 million through just under 1 million shares. In these troubled 2016 IPO waters however, it may feel lucky to have got its offering out the door at all.

Its lead product, MS1819, is an autologous yeast recombinant lipase for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency associated with chronic pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis. A recombinant lipase is an enzyme that breaks up fat molecules, which is created from new combinations of genetic material in yeast.

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A Phase IIa test of the med, coming 5 years after finishing off its Phase I/IIa study in 2011, is slated to start at the end of the year--and is where the bulk of its money will go, according to its SEC filing.

The biotech is also working on AZX1101, a recombinant β-lactamase combination of bacterial origin for the prevention of hospital-acquired infections by resistant bacterial strains, as well as for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

The biotech has listed on Nasdaq under the ticker $AZRX.

Meanwhile, Westport, CT-based Accelerated Pharma, which is working on a platinum-based chemotherapy optimized by genomic screening, is gunning for a $17 million IPO, with a range of between $8 and $10 for 1.88 million shares.

According to its S-1 form with the SEC, the biotech plans to use its genomic tech to “enhance the development of pre-existing pharmaceutical products for the treatment of various cancer indications.”

Its lead product candidate, Picoplatin, is described by the co as a “new generation” platinum-based cancer therapy that could be used in different formulations, as a single agent or combined with other anti-cancer agents, to treat a number of cancer indications.

The company explained in its filing: “The goal of our genomics program with respect to Picoplatin is to use our genomics tools with associated predictive models to select patients who will respond to Picoplatin prospectively. Our genomics technology will be designed to both identify patients who will and who will not benefit from Picoplatin […] before such patients begin receiving therapy.”

The biotech said it is seeking to start Phase II trials both in colorectal cancer and squamous cell cancer of the head-and-neck “over the next 24 months” in order to “determine the genomic signatures for Picoplatin with respect to these indications.”

This comes in the same month, following its review of the co’s IND for squamous cell cancer of the head and neck, that the FDA gave the biotech permission to start midstage studies of Picoplatin in patients in the head and neck cancer setting.

Accelerated Pharma aims to also list on the Nasdaq under the symbol $ACCP, although timelines for the IPO have not been given. Its CEO and president Michael Fonstein owns the majority of the company’s stock--28.4% before the offering--while Tallikut Pharmaceuticals has a 17.6% stake. 

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