Getting ready for its first Phase III trial, Aridis Pharma is now turning to public investors to support its pathogen-specific immunotherapies in a modest $35 million IPO.
San Jose, CA-based Aridis joins an ever-growing crowd of biotechs looking to cash in on the bullish sentiment on display on Nasdaq. Their pitch: a portfolio of fully human monoclonal antibodies treat life-threatening infections such as hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), developed from a proprietary discovery platform.
All three of Aridis’ clinical programs target HAP and VAP, differing only in the pathogen that they target. With lead asset AR-301, they are starting off with S. aureus.
AR-301 and another Phase II drug, AR-101 hitting P. aeruginosa, are the core assets of a joint venture Aridis set up a few months ago with Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical, investing $1 million — Hepalink chipped in the other $15 million — in which the Chinese partner would develop and seek approval for the drugs in the country.
Hepalink’s US subsidiary is a major stockholder of Aridis, commanding 17.8% of the stock, followed by founder and CEO Vu Truong at 15.1% and chairman Eric Patzer at 13.7%. Other investors include Pineworld Capital and Efung Ruibo. Notably, Robert Coughlin, president and CEO of MassBio, also holds less than 1% of the shares.
Other than directly funding the clinical trials, the biotech — to be listed as $ARDS — is also allocating part of the raise for the manufacturing of clinical supplies for use in the trials, according to the S-1.
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