Horizon Pharma braves a chilly market with $86M IPO

Apparently undaunted by the rough reception biotech companies have received on Wall Street this year, Horizon Pharma has floated plans to raise a total of $86.25 million through an IPO.

Northbrook, IL-based Horizon, which started out as Nitec in 2004, has two drugs that have made it through late-stage trials and plans to use the money to finish the regulatory work and boot up commercialization efforts. Over the past six years the developer has raised $54 million from a list of venture groups, including Atlas Venture, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, NGN Biomed, Sutter Hill Ventures, FirstMark Capital, Global Life Sciences Ventures and TVM, according to Private Equity Hub.

Horizon does have a product on the market. Lodotra--a proprietary low-dose formulation of prednisone--is sold in Europe for rheumatoid arthritis and will be submitted to the FDA later this year. And it has a combo pain therapy--HZT-501--which matches ibuprofen and famotidine. HZT-501 has a January 21, 2011 PDUFA date. Horizon has two other programs in early-stage development.

As the company explained to FierceBiotech three years ago, the sudden removal of Vioxx from the market created a big opportunity for a savvy developer which could provide a safe new pain therapy. "We combined two approved agents: Famotidine, which lowers acid in the stomach, with ibuprofen, for pain relief, in one single pill," George Tidmarsh, the company founder, said at the time.

Just this week Trius Therapeutics got a cold shoulder from investors, forcing it to slash its IPO price from a range of $12 to $14 down to a mere $5. Investors have been skittish about IPOs that are heavy on development risk and light on revenue. Horizon clearly believes it has a better story to tell and plans to trade under the HZNP symbol.

- here's the story from Dow Jones
- check out the Private Equity Hub item