On the road to Cambridge, migraine drug biotech CoLucid files for an $86M IPO

CoLucid Pharmaceuticals is on the move. Back in mid-January the biotech raised about $37 million to back its Phase III study of a new migraine drug. A week ago the company said it had pulled up stakes in Durham, NC, and had temporarily located its HQ in Burlington, MA, as it searched for new offices in Cambridge. And now it has pulled back the covers on an $86 million IPO.

That burst of activity was inspired by lasmiditan (COL-144), a small molecule for migraines that CoLucid boasts is "the first new mechanism of action (for migraine) in the last twenty years." The biotech has launched its first Phase III study of the drug under an SPA with the FDA, with top-line due out in late 2016. By that time, CoLucid says it will have the second pivotal study underway. And if the Phase III data reflect their Phase IIb success, the company says it will be on a straight path to the FDA with an NDA in hand in the second half of 2017.

CoLucid is betting that biotech-friendly investors who have kept the IPO window open for more than two years will warm to its pitch. The biotech wants to bat aside triptans, which currently command a large chunk of the migraine drug business, and carve out a spot in the market for lasmiditan.

The biotech was founded by Pappas Ventures back in 2005 and in-licensed the migraine drug from Eli Lilly ($LLY). TVM CapitalLife Science came in to lead the last round, alongside Pappas, Domain Associates, Care Capital, Triathlon Medical Ventures and Pearl Street Ventures. Joining the board of directors will be Dr. Luc Marengere from TVM Capital Life Science and Dr. Martin Edwards from Novo Ventures.

CoLucid's gamble rests on its ability to advance a drug that targets 5‑HT1F receptors expressed in the trigeminal nerve pathway, steering clear of the vasoconstrictor effects of the triptans. In the S-1, the biotech notes that their drug has yet to go head-to-head with any triptans, but investigators insist that the efficacy data compares well with the class. But CoLucid also notes that their drug had a much higher rate of adverse events than placebo.

CEO Thomas Mathers, who was brought in back in 2011, has been involved in a variety of biotechs. He was CEO of Peptimmune when it filed for Chapter 7 in 2011.

- here's the S-1

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