DBV files to raise $245M to fuel race for peanut allergy market

DBV Technologies ($DBVT) has filed for a $245 million (€224 million) share offering. Almost 40% of the mighty sum is earmarked for development of treatments for milk and peanut allergies, which the French biotech is trying to hustle to market ahead of its rivals' competitors.

DBV CEO Dr. Pierre-Henri Benhamou

Paris, France-based DBV plans to set aside $95 million for a Phase III trial of Viaskin Peanut and a Phase II study of Viaskin Milk, with a further $45 million being ploughed into the building out of clinical and commercial infrastructure on both sides of the Atlantic. The spending spree is intended to ensure that DBV is equipped to speed through late-phase development and then hit the ground running if Viaskin Peanut does enough to win over the FDA. DBV is to put a $40 million chunk of whatever remains into its early-stage pipeline and infrastructure in France.

Clearing any financial barriers on the path to market is particularly important for DBV and its peanut allergy treatment, as Aimmune Therapeutics is following closely in its slipstream. Brisbane, CA-based Aimmune and DBV both now have FDA breakthrough statuses for their peanut allergy treatments, positive Phase II data and bank accounts freshly inflated by financing rounds. Aimmune is in the process of topping up its coffers with an IPO shortly after nailing an $80 million crossover round, while DBV has become a familiar sight for Wall Street investors.

DBV is returning to U.S. public investors for cash around 9 months after it raised $93 million in its Nasdaq IPO. Back then the allergy specialist failed to hit its target price of $23 a share, but investors have warmed to the company in the intervening months. The stock has gone on a tear over the past month as DBV has clarified its vision for a Phase III trial of its peanut allergy treatment, culminating in it blasting past the $40 mark in the hours after news of the follow-on offering emerged. The progress has allowed DBV to broaden its R&D horizons.

While the near-term success of DBV is tied to its peanut and, to a lesser extent, milk allergy treatments, the company is now also looking to stock its early-stage pipeline. Another candidate, possibly Viaskin Egg, will advance through preclinical as a result of the upcoming cash injection. And DBV is also looking into applications of its science beyond allergies, with development of a pertussis booster vaccine one option for the company.

- read the SEC filing

Editor's note: This story was changed to clarify that the peanut allergy products in development at DBV and Aimmune are not vaccines.

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