Inventiva completes €48M IPO to fund phase 2b NASH trial

View of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Paris, France, the city where Inventiva completed its €48 million IPO.

Inventiva has raised €48 million ($51 million) through an IPO in Paris, France. The offering gives the French biotech, which lists AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim among its partners, the cash to take its lead candidate through phase 2b trials in NASH and systemic sclerosis.

Dijon, France-based Inventiva priced at the bottom end of its forecast range, leaving its haul some way short of the hoped-for maximum of €58 million but still large enough to see it through to the middle of 2019. By then, the company expects to have clinical proof-of-concept data on its lead candidate IVA337. Inventiva is set to wrap up the systemic sclerosis trial by the end of the year, before going on to finish the NASH study in the second half of 2018.

Data from those trials will show the merits of the bets Inventiva and its investors have placed on IVA337, a small molecule that targets the three isoforms of the PPAR protein. Genfit, a compatriot of Inventiva and rival for the NASH market, is going after the same protein, but its elafibranor only hits two of the three isoforms. Inventiva thinks IVA337’s pan-PPAR approach could give it an edge in terms of addressing liver lesions.

The IPO money will also support clinical development of IVA336, a treatment for a group of rare genetic disorders that cause deficiencies in lysosomal enzymes. Inventiva is working on a phase 1/2 trial of the drug in these disorders, which are known as mucopolysaccharidoses. Another tranche of the IPO funds will support preclinical programs, including YAP-TEAD inhibitors Inventiva sees as possible treatments for a range of solid tumors.

Inventiva emerged in 2012 from the wreckage of the closure of Laboratoires Fournier’s site in Daix on the outskirts of Dijon. Abbott Laboratories bought the operation in 2009 as part of its deal with Solvay, only to decide to shutter the site two years later. Spotting an opportunity, Laboratoires Fournier employees formed an agreement with Abbott that gave them a drug discovery platform, financial support for a 70-person operation at the Daix site and an R&D collaboration.

The R&D collaboration with Abbott, which is now managed by AbbVie, has spawned a phase 1 autoimmune disorder program and a discovery-stage fibrosis asset. Inventiva added Boehringer to its list of Big Pharma collaborators last year when it struck a €170 million deal to develop drugs against idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other fibrotic diseases.