Aligos Therapeutics, developing several different hep B and NASH treatments, files for $100M IPO raise
Another biotech filed to go public late Friday as the 2020 IPO party rages on.
Aligos Therapeutics, focusing on chronic hepatitis B and NASH, submitted its S-1 paperwork to the SEC with a goal of raising $100 million. The company’s lead candidate is known as a STOPS molecule, or an S-antigen transport-inhibiting oligonucleotide polymer, and started a Phase I study for CHB in August.
Through late August, the industry as a whole had raised $11 billion-plus across four dozen IPOs, per independent analyst Brad Loncar, surpassing the amount from all of 2019.
After four other biotechs priced their shares last Friday, the total number of industry IPOs in 2020 reached 56, Nasdaq’s head of healthcare listings Jordan Saxe told Endpoints News at the time. Nasdaq has counted $11.3 billion raised for those 56 biotechs through Friday. Saxe’s tally also matches Loncar’s total from 2018, which made 2020 tied for the most biotech IPOs seen since at least 2017.
The theory behind the lead program, dubbed ALG-010133, is that suppressing the S-antigen in the hepatitis B virus can boost the patients’ compromised immune systems and improve viral clearance in chronic hepatitis B. Aligos’ Phase I study will measure safety and antiviral activity in up to 12 weekly doses, both in healthy volunteers and virologically suppressed patients with CHB.
According to a statement at the time, ALG-010133 will first be evaluated as a monotherapy but Aligos said it has seen some potential that it could be used in combination therapies.
Topline results for some cohorts are expected in the second half of 2021, and the first patients were dosed at a trial site in New Zealand. Other sites across Asia and Europe have not begun dosing as of yet.
Aligos has three other preclinical programs trying to hit the chronic hepatitis B indication, each with different mechanisms of action. The first is with capsid assembly modulators, which are small molecules that interfere with HBV capsid disassembly and viral replication. This program, called ALG-000184, is expected to begin clinical trials before the end of the year.
The company’s other two CHB preclinical programs both can inhibit the virus’s mRNA that encodes S-antigens, Aligos says. These two methods are through an antisense oligonucleotide, as well as a small interfering RNA. Additionally, the biotech’s NASH program — also in preclinical studies — is a THB-beta agonist.
Aligos’ S-1 did not give much detail about how it expects to divvy up the funds from the IPO raise, only that the money would mainly go towards funding these five programs.
Also on Friday, a 5AM Ventures-backed blank check company filed to go public, seeking an $80 million raise. The company, called 5:01 Acquisition, is not planning on operating like a normal SPAC in that it’s not offering warrants that would become exercisable following completion of the initial business combination, per Renaissance Capital.
5:01 Acquisition did not specify with which biotech it plans to conduct a reverse merger.