Braeburn eyes $150M IPO to launch opioid addiction tech

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Braeburn has filed for a $150 million IPO to fund commercialization of its opioid addiction implant

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals has filed for a $150 million IPO. The listing is intended to give Braeburn the financial clout to commercialize its six-month opioid addiction implant that won FDA approval last year.

Princeton, NJ-based Braeburn is yet to price the IPO or say how many shares it plans to offload, but has pencilled in a $150 million maximum offering for the listing. That would give Braeburn the means to execute a commercialization strategy that aims to have a 60-strong sales force on the ground this quarter.

Braeburn will task the sales team with promoting Probuphine, an implantable formulation of the semisynthetic opioid buprenorphine. FDA approved Probuphine in May on the strength of clinical trial data showing the four matchstick-sized implants curbed illicit opioid use to a similar degree to a sublingual formulation of buprenorphine. And, with the implants lasting six months, Probuphine should be more convenient than competing oral formulations of the semisynthetic opioid.

The rollout has hit some stumbling blocks, though. An application for a procedure code covering Probuphine was knocked back. Braeburn is working to obtain a code, but warned investors it may face “lower reimbursement rates, denials and delays in reimbursement” if it fails to do so. Even if Braeburn gets a code, it could encounter resistance from physicians who prefer the frequent visits and cash payments that characterize the reimbursement and prescription of rival products.

Adding $150 million in IPO cash to the $23.5 million it had in the bank as of the end of September would set Braeburn up to build a commercial operation with the potential to overcome these barriers.

A big IPO would also leave Braeburn with money to fund the advance of its clinical-phase pipeline, including weekly and monthly injectable formulations of buprenorphine. While Probuphine is for patients who are ready for long-term maintenance care of their addiction, the injectable formulation is aimed at people who are earlier on the treatment pathway.

Braeburn is also leveraging its implant technology to develop long-lasting treatments for schizophrenia and moderate to severe spasticity. The schizophrenia candidate, which delivers six months of risperidone, is in phase 3, making it the more advanced of the two experimental implants.