Receptos hits biotech IPO queue with oral MS contender

San Diego-based biotech Receptos has taken steps to mount an initial public offering, filing papers with the SEC to raise up to $86.3 million in the deal. The biotech comes to the table with a lead candidate in mid-stage development for relapsing cases of multiple sclerosis.

The lead asset, RPC1063, offers a potential oral therapy to curtail immune attacks in patients with multiple sclerosis. The oral drug would face growing competition for MS pills. Biogen Idec ($BIIB) recently won FDA approval for Tecfidera, previously known as BG-12, which many analysts have handicapped as their favorite to rise to the top of the class of oral MS therapies that now includes Gilenya from Novartis ($NVS) and Aubagio from Sanofi's ($SNY) Genzyme.

Receptos expects top-line data from the Phase II portion of a Phase II/III program for its oral MS drug in mid-2014. The company says that the design of the study approved by U.S. regulators will enable a rapid jump into late-stage development. It's also studying the drug in a midstage trial for ulcerative colitis.

Founded in 2008, the company has attracted venture investments from a lineup of big-named firms such as Arch Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Lilly Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners and Venrock Associates. The company says that it has raised $61.5 million through two rounds of venture capital and $20.8 million in non-dilutive payments and funding from pharma collaborators at Lilly, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Ono Pharma.

Last month Receptos announced that it had in-licensed an IL-13 antibody--now called RPC4046--from AbbVie ($ABBV), planning to study the candidate in Phase II for an orphan respiratory ailment called Eosinophilic esophagitis. The deal gives AbbVie an interesting option step back in for Phase III development if the midstage work pans out.  

- here's the S-1 filing
- see an item from Renaissance Capital