Monopar Therapeutics puts the brakes on IPO, again

Monopar Therapeutics had planned to list on the Nasdaq. (Nasdaq)

It's déjà vu for cancer biotech Monopar Therapeutics as the company delays getting off its initial public offering for the second time.

Earlier this year, the biotech officially filed for a $40 million IPO and looked to use the cash raised to kick-start a phase 3 trial of a prophylactic treatment for a side effect of chemoradiotherapy.

But Monopar postponed this IPO; then it tried again, but halved the offering down to $20 million by offering 2.2 million shares at a price range of $8 to $10.

Now this too has been postponed, as smaller biotechs appear to be squeezed out of a closing IPO window.

Illinois-based Monopar licensed its severe oral mucositis treatment, clonidine mucoadhesive buccal tablet Validive, from Onxeo for $1 million upfront back in 2017. The deal came two years after the drug failed to drive a statistically significant reduction in incidence of severe oral mucositis in phase 2.

Onxeo zeroed in on “observed differences in the incidence and time to occurrence” of the side effect to justify its conclusion that further development was warranted. Monopar agreed with the conclusion, leading to a heavily backloaded deal.

Monopar wanted the IPO to enable it to put its belief to the test. The money was needed to equip Monopar to start a phase 3 trial before the end of the year.

Monopar had previously said in its Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it planned to run an adaptive design trial that enables it to perform an interim analysis about 12 months after the study begins. A confirmatory second trial will get underway shortly after the interim analysis.

With the IPO now delayed again, it’s unclear how these timelines will work out.