Edge Therapeutics swings for a $115M IPO with eyes on Phase III

A depiction of Edge's polymer-based microparticle for delivering neurological drugs--Courtesy of Edge Therapeutics

Edge Therapeutics, at work on treatments for brain injuries, filed to raise $115 million in an IPO, seeking cash to get its top prospect into late-stage development.

The company, headquartered in New Jersey, is developing a microparticle treatment designed to ease symptoms for patients suffering from brain hemorrhages tied to aneurysms. Called EG-1962, the drug uses a polymer technology to deliver nimodipine, a standard drug for brain hemorrhage, at greater doses than possible with current therapies, Edge said.

In a Phase II study, EG-1962 bested oral nimodipine in improving clinical outcomes for patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, or aSAH. After a positive end-of-Phase II meeting with the FDA, Edge is at work blueprinting a Phase III trial for its lead drug, planning to kick off enrollment in the middle of next year.

To pay for it all, Edge is plotting to make its debut on the Nasdaq under the symbol "EDGE." The biotech hasn't said how many shares it intends to offer or at what expected price, disclosing only that its lead underwriters are Leerink Partners and Credit Suisse.

Beyond, EG-1962, Edge is working on a treatment for chronic subdural hematoma, a buildup of blood between the brain and its outermost covering often caused by trauma. That drug, EG-1964, contains the anti-bleeding agent aprotinin, an effective treatment whose use is hampered by serious side effects, Edge said. Using the same polymer technology at work in EG-1962, the company has crafted a formulation it believes can make aprotinin safe at higher doses.

Edge raised has raised $72.5 million in two funding rounds over the last year, from Sofinnova Venture Partners, Venrock and others. Sofinnova is the company's largest pre-IPO shareholder, with a 9.2% stake, followed by Venrock and Janus, which own 8% each, and New Leaf Ventures and Franklin Advisers, which hold 6.4% apiece.

Meanwhile, biotech's record first-half pace of IPOs has continued through the summer. Over the past few weeks alone, Global Blood Therapeutics ($GBT), Aimmune Therapeutics ($AIMT) and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals ($ZYNE) all went public. And the queue of companies looking to do the same continues to grow, with Adynxx, Gensight Biologics and Erytech all lining up for IPOs of their own.

- read the filing