Akcea now shooting for $200M-plus as a new lineup of biotech IPOs prep for a launch

Paula Souterpolos, CEO, Akcea

Akcea Therapeutics is upping the ante on its IPO.

The Ionis subsidiary originally mapped out a plan to raise $100 million in its initial offering, but in an amended S-1 today the company increased its potential to $155 million, with its partners at Novartis ready to pitch in with $50 million more if Akcea achieves certain financial benchmarks with investors.

Akcea spelled out plans $AKCA to sell 9.62 million shares at $12 to $14 a share with underwriters getting an option on 1.4 million shares. At the midrange, that would leave Ionis with 73.4% of the shares.

The lion’s share of the money, $80 million, is earmarked for the completion of the Phase III volanesorsen study. Akcea CEO Paula Soteropoulos plans to set aside $30 million to complete the planned Phase II program for AKCEA-APO(a)-L Rx ; $16 million to complete the planned Phase II program for AKCEA-ANGPTL3-L Rx ; and about $24 million to complete the planned Phase II program for AKCEA-APOCIII-L.

Founded in 2015, Akcea plans to go on to market volanesorsen alone in the US and Europe, with its partners at Novartis stepping in on the next two therapies — AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx. and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx — it plans to steer to regulators.

Several biotechs are lining up for a shot at the public market, encouraged by the recent experiences of companies like Biohaven $BHVN.

Dova Pharmaceuticals just set terms on its $65 million IPO while Aileron is aiming at a $60 million score.

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