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.

Health­care Dis­par­i­ties and Sick­le Cell Dis­ease

In the complicated U.S. healthcare system, navigating a serious illness such as cancer or heart disease can be remarkably challenging for patients and caregivers. When that illness is classified as a rare disease, those challenges can become even more acute. And when that rare disease occurs in a population that experiences health disparities, such as people with sickle cell disease (SCD) who are primarily Black and Latino, challenges can become almost insurmountable.

Jacob Van Naarden (Eli Lilly)

Ex­clu­sives: Eli Lil­ly out to crash the megablock­buster PD-(L)1 par­ty with 'dis­rup­tive' pric­ing; re­veals can­cer biotech buy­out

It’s taken 7 years, but Eli Lilly is promising to finally start hammering the small and affluent PD-(L)1 club with a “disruptive” pricing strategy for their checkpoint therapy allied with China’s Innovent.

Lilly in-licensed global rights to sintilimab a year ago, building on the China alliance they have with Innovent. That cost the pharma giant $200 million in cash upfront, which they plan to capitalize on now with a long-awaited plan to bust up the high-price market in lung cancer and other cancers that have created a market worth tens of billions of dollars.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

David Meek, new Mirati CEO (Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Fresh off Fer­Gene's melt­down, David Meek takes over at Mi­rati with lead KRAS drug rac­ing to an ap­proval

In the insular world of biotech, a spectacular failure can sometimes stay on any executive’s record for a long time. But for David Meek, the man at the helm of FerGene’s recent implosion, two questionable exits made way for what could be an excellent rebound.

Meek, most recently FerGene’s CEO and a past head at Ipsen, has become CEO at Mirati Therapeutics, taking the reins from founding CEO Charles Baum, who will step over into the role of president and head of R&D, according to a release.

Rafaèle Tordjman (Jeito Capital)

Con­ti­nu­ity and di­ver­si­ty: Rafaèle Tord­j­man's women-led VC firm tops out first fund at $630M

For a first-time fund, Jeito Capital talks a lot about continuity.

Rafaèle Tordjman had spotlighted that concept ever since she started building the firm in 2018, promising to go the extra mile(s) with biotech entrepreneurs while pushing them to reach patients faster.

Coincidentally, the lack of continuity was one of the sore spots listed in a report about the European healthcare sector published that same year by the European Investment Bank — whose fund is one of the LPs, alongside the American pension fund Teacher Retirement System of Texas and Singapore’s Temasek, to help Jeito close its first fund at $630 million (€534 million). As previously reported, Sanofi had chimed in €50 million, marking its first investment in a French life sciences fund.

Dave Lennon, former president of Novartis Gene Therapies

Zol­gens­ma patent spat brews be­tween No­var­tis and Re­genxbio as top No­var­tis gene ther­a­py ex­ec de­parts

Regenxbio, a small licensor of gene therapy viral vectors spun out from the University of Pennsylvania, is now finding itself in the middle of some major league patent fights.

In addition to a patent suit with Sarepta Therapeutics from last September, Novartis, is now trying to push its smaller partner out of the way. The Swiss biopharma licensed Regenxbio’s AAV9 vector for its $2.1 million spinal muscular atrophy therapy Zolgensma.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 117,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Time for round 2: Il­lu­mi­na-backed VC snags $325M for its next fund

Illumina Ventures closed off its second investment fund with a total commitment of $325 million, offering fresh fuel to back a slate of startups that have already included a smorgasbord of companies, covering everything from diagnostics to biotech drug development and genomics.

Fund II brings the total investment under Illumina Ventures’ oversight to $560 million, which has been focused on early-stage companies. And it has a transatlantic portfolio that includes SQZ, Twist and Encoded Therapeutics.

Volker Wagner (L) and Jeff Legos

As Bay­er, No­var­tis stack up their ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal da­ta at #ES­MO21, a key de­bate takes shape

Ten years ago, a small Norwegian biotech by the name of Algeta showed up at ESMO — then the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference 2011 — and declared that its Bayer-partnered targeted radionuclide therapy, radium-223 chloride, boosted the overall survival of castration-resistant prostate cancer patients with symptomatic bone metastases.

In a Phase III study dubbed ALSYMPCA, patients who were treated with radium-223 chloride lived a median of 14 months compared to 11.2 months. The FDA would stamp an approval on it based on those data two years later, after Bayer snapped up Algeta and christened the drug Xofigo.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 117,600+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Raju Mohan, Ventyx Biosciences CEO

Months af­ter a mam­moth raise, Ven­tyx Bio­sciences dips back in­to ven­ture well

Several months after emerging from what CEO Raju Mohan called “quiet mode” with a mammoth $114 million raise, Ventyx Biosciences is now making its plans for the clinic loud and clear.

The California-based immune modulation player kicked the week off with a $51 million Series B, while also naming some key hires ahead of its big clinical push.

The CMO slot is going to Jörn Drappa, former CMO at Viela Bio before it was bought out by Horizon Therapeutics earlier this year. The AstraZeneca vet stayed on at Horizon for a while as executive VP of R&D before making the jump to Ventyx.

Mi­rati tri­umphs again in KRAS-mu­tat­ed lung can­cer with a close­ly watched FDA fil­ing now in the cards

After a busy weekend at #ESMO21, which included a big readout for its KRAS drug adagrasib in colon cancer, Mirati Therapeutics is ready to keep the pressure on competitor Amgen with lung cancer data that will undergird an upcoming filing.

In topline results from a Phase II cohort of its KRYSTAL-1 study, adagrasib posted a response rate of 43% in second-line-or-later patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer containing a KRAS-G12C mutation, Mirati said Monday.