Hep B player Aligos Therapeutics wants to go public with a $100M IPO, COVID-19 drug plans

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(Nasdaq)

Oligonucleotide-focused biotech Aligos Therapeutics is shooting for a $100 million IPO to help drive its early work on a functional cure for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) virus as well as COVID-19.

Its leading asset, LG-010133, works as an S-antigen transport-inhibiting oligonucleotide polymer (STOPS) molecule and is currently in a phase 1 proof-of-concept trial.

The most widely used treatments for CHB, nucleos(t)ide analogues, suppress viral replication but only achieve low rates of functional cure and often require long-term administration.

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“To address this issue, we have developed a portfolio of differentiated drug candidates for CHB, including the STOPS molecule, a small molecule Capsid Assembly Modulator, and oligonucleotides (ASO and siRNA), each of which is designed against clinically validated targets in the Hepatitis B Virus life cycle,” the biotech said.

“We believe that combination regimens utilizing our portfolio of CHB drug candidates may lead to higher rates of functional cure.”

According to its SEC-1 filing, the biotech also sees this drug working in cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and the most common form of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma.

It also has earlier work focused on the advanced fatty liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a major area for almost all biopharmas but one that has been beset with setbacks and failures amid R&D struggles.

Its target for this, ALG-055009, is currently preclinical, but the company sees it being a part of future combo therapies against the disease.

And, finally, it’s also targeting COVID-19 using its oligonucleotide approaches, aiming for “pan-coronavirus” activity.

Roche had been developing an oligonucleotide against hep B, known as RG6004, but earlier this year the Swiss major dropped work on the antisense drug, licensing an RNAi attempt against the liver disease from Dicerna instead.

South San Francisco, California-based Aligos was founded back in 2018 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker "ALGS."

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