Kythera Biopharmaceuticals

Ticker: KYTH
IPO price: $16
Oct. 23 closing price: $23.37
Percentage gain: 46%

Public investors have given their thumbs up to Kythera's plans to slay chin fat for the sake of aesthetics. Like Intercept ($ICPT), Kythera ($KYTH) managed to price its IPO at the high end of its hoped-for range while bouncing off the starting blocks with a double-digit gain on its first day of trading. And Kythera is channeling much of the money raised in its recent IPO into its lead program, an injectable therapy known as ATX-101 for people afflicted with double chins.

Calabasas, CA-based Kythera is in late-stage development of the drug and expects top-line results of a key trial in the U.S. and Canada in mid-2013. Bayer saw enough potential in the program to pay up for a license rights outside the U.S. and Canada for ATX-101, Kythera's own synthetic version of a component of human bile called sodium deoxycholate, which breaks down dietary fat. The therapy could help patients remove double chins without going under the knife, giving Bayer and Kythera an attractive product in the growing multibillion market if the FDA and other regulators grant approval.   

As Allergan has done with its Botox, Kythera aims to add additional uses of its lead therapy after the initial use against submental fat. Of course, Kythera's growth is heavily dependent on this one product candidate, ATX-101, and that makes investments in the company, at least right now, largely a bet on the success of the experimental therapy.

For more:
Investors back $70M IPO for Kythera
IPO priced for biotech working on drug against chin fat
Kythera files $86M IPO to support fat-busting drug

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals
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