Fresh from Boehringer R&D tie-up, Inventiva to go public on Euronext

French NASH and fibrosis disease biotech Inventiva is looking to build on its Big Pharma interest by filing for an IPO on the Euronext.

Details of how much it is hoping to raise were not included in its documents filed with the AMF, but the company did say it had around €4.9 million ($5.4 million, up nearly 50% on 2014) in revenue and cash of more than €22 million.

The IPO comes just a month after the French biotech penned an idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) R&D alliance with private German pharma Boehringer Ingelheim, in a deal worth up to €170 million ($190 million). This dovetails with BI’s IPF drug Ofev (nintedanib), which is battling Roche’s ($RHHBY) Esbriet (pirfenidone) for top honors in the lung-scarring disease market. Inventiva also has an ongoing drug discovery deal with AbbVie ($ABBV).

Dijon, France-based Inventiva came to life back in 2012 after a management buyout of a facility Abbott ($ABT) acquired in its €5.2 billion takeover of Solvay’s pharma business.

The biotech currently has two Phase IIb trials underway in the potential blockbuster fatty liver disease market NASH, as well as in systemic sclerosis (SSc).

The company is using its candidate IVA337--an experimental drug that activates the three PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) isoforms, α, δ and γ--for both studies.

In early-stage studies, the company said it showed good safety and efficacy, while in preclinical tests it showed antifibrotic efficacy by inducing the regression of preexisting fibrotic damage (scarring) in the liver and in the skin--while also preventing further fibrosis from developing.

NASH is of major interest to a number of biopharma companies, with Gilead ($GILD) and Intercept ($ICPT) two of the bigger players in a market that could see $5 billion to $10 billion per NASH drug at peak.

Fellow French biotech Genfit is also trying to get in on the market with its late-stage offering elafibranor, but is a little behind Intercept in the development stakes.

All of these companies are betting big on bringing a new NASH drug to market to treat the disease, which is estimated to affect as many as 5% of Americans. Its incidence is increasing as the condition is directly related to the growing rates of obesity and diabetes in the country.

Meanwhile, IVA337 is also seeking to treat SSc, a complex multiorgan rare disease affecting the immune system, the microvascular system and the connective tissue. Under the pressure of the disease, organ progressive failures make SSc a severe and lethal illness with a high death toll.

Frédéric Cren, CEO and co-founder of Inventiva, said in the filing: “This IPO project is another step in the development of its product and Inventiva IVA337 lighthouse."

Pierre Broqua, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Inventiva, added: “With our expertise unique and recognized in the field of fibrosis, we meet the therapeutic challenges of these diseases.

“After the signing of two R&D strategic partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies, AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim, which validate our technology and a major player in the field of fibrosis, this IPO project is a step forward important for the growth of Inventiva and its further clinical development, the next results are expected as early as 2018.”

There have been some major headwinds in the biotech IPO market over the past year, with the past 6 months alone littered with lower offerings and many deciding to simply kill off their plans to go public after they failed to find enough interest.  

The U.K.’s decision last month to leave the EU in the coming years has also hit the wider European economy and damaged investor confidence.

VC raises, however, have continued to be strong this year, with many European and U.S. biotechs telling FierceBiotech they are happy to wait for an IPO until the market settles down and build up funds via private funding rounds.

- check out the AMF filing (French)

Related Articles:
Boehringer, Inventiva strike €170M idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis R&D deal
Genfit moves liver disease pill into mid-stage, hints at upcoming IPO