Drug Development, Protocols

Protocols: Novan downsizes its IPO; GSK floats idea for government-backed vaccine development

Durham, NC-based Novan has shrunk its ambitions for an upcoming IPO. The biotech – which is working on new treatments for acne and other skin conditions – laid out plans to raise about $45 million by selling 3.75 million shares at $11 to $13 a share. The biotech initially filed an S-1 in search of a $60 million windfall.

GSK is attracting some attention for a new idea to create a special vaccine development unit that can jump into action whenever a new pandemic threat appears. Big Pharmas have been reluctant to go after Zika and other outbreaks because there could be little financial incentive for any products they may eventually produce. So GSK execs are telling Bloomberg that they could set up a unit, provided some government agencies agree to foot the bill.

Two months after winning a breakthrough drug designation for a gene therapy to treat spinal muscular atrophy, AveXis $AVXS has raised $127 million through a follow-on stock offering.

Last spring Lpath ($LPTN) was crushed when its experimental drug for wet, age-related macular degeneration failed in Phase II. Today, it’s another example of a gutted biotech shell that can be used for a convenient reverse merger by another company. Apollo Endosurgery is reversing its way into the public market with the move. Lpath’s market cap had shrunk to a little more than $6 million.

San Francisco-based IDbyDNA garnered a $9 million startup round to back its work on using metagenomic approaches for infectious disease identification. Artis Ventures led the round.

The European Commission and the FDA have granted Boehringer Ingelheim’s nintedanib their Orphan Drug Designation to nintedanib for the treatment of systemic sclerosis (or scleroderma).

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