Liquidia Technologies believes the time is ripe to go public, asking investors to sign on for a $57.5 million IPO designed to get them through a late-stage study of a “new and improved” way to deliver an inhaled drug to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension — and take down United Therapeutics’ standard of care Tyvaso in the process.
The biotech — which has a technology collaboration in place with GlaxoSmithKline — has been working on perfecting its drug particle tech in developing LIQ861, an inhaled form of treprostinil. Their boast is that they know how to consistently make the well known drug in a way that can be delivered in a disposable inhaler. And that, they say, would put Tyvaso and its nebulizer — which earned $404 million last year — to shame.
The biotech plans to list as $LQDA.
Liquidia researchers have vaulted from an early-stage study straight into a fairly small Phase III study which they plan to take to the FDA for an approval. And they also plan to use IPO cash to advance a post-operative pain program for LIQ865 through a Phase II-enabling toxicity study.
The biotech landed a $15 million upfront from GSK in 2015 to help fund the work, and also allied with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along the way on vaccine tech. They’re based in Morrisville, NC and the company is helmed by Neal Fowler.
The Gates Foundation owns 7.5% of the equity, and some high-profile venture groups also claim significant chunks of the stock. New Enterprise Associated owns 18.7% of the stock, while Canaan has 17.7%.
This new, modest-sized IPO comes on the heels of a record spree of biotech IPOs over the last couple of weeks. Now we’re seeing the new S-1s come in that will tell us how far the IPO market can go this year.
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