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Rare Diseases: IPO And Start-Up

March 18, 2014

This Blog Post presents business development news for an Initial Public Offerings (IPO) and a start-up biotech company in the rare disease and orphan drug space.

I – Aldeyra Therapeutics

Aldeyra Therapeutics (formerly Aldexa Therapeutics Inc.) is a Burlington, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company developing treatments for rare skin and eye diseases. The company announces on March 17th the terms for its Initial Public Offering (IPO): plans to offer two million shares at $10 – $12. At the $11 midpoint price, Aldeyra Therapeutics would raise $22 million. The company plans on listing on the NASDAQ using symbol “ALDX”. Aegis Capital is the sole bookrunner for the deal. Aldeyra Therapeutics filed confidentially in December 2013 and then changed its name from Aldexa Therapeutics on March 4th.

Aldeyra Therapeutics is developing drug candidates that are designed to trap aldehydes (by binding to and allowing for the disposal of free aldehydes) :

“Free aldehydes are naturally occurring chemical species that, among other things, promote inflammation. At high levels, aldehydes are toxic, binding proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and DNA … A variety of diseases are thought to be related to free aldehydes, including autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and endocrinologic disease.”

In 2014, Aldeyra Therapeutics plans on initiating a Phase II/III clinical trial to evaluate its lead drug candidate, NS2, a topical formulation, to treat the rare inherited disease Sjogren-Larsson Syndrome (SLS). SLS is caused by mutations in an enzyme that metabolizes fatty aldehydes and is characterized by dry scaly skin, spasticity, and mental retardation. Also in 2014, Aldeyra Therapeutics plans on starting the following clinical trials for NS2:

•   Phase II clinical trial with NS2 topical formulation for treatment of Discoid Lupus (autoimmune condition affecting the skin)

•   Phase II clinical trials with NS2 eye drop formulation for the treatment of Acute Anterior Uveitis (inflammatory eye disease) and Ocular Rosacea with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (dry eye disease associated with rosacea).

II – Ataxion

Ataxion is a Cambridge, Massachusetts, biotech startup, formed by Atlas Venture partnering with Biogen Idec. Ataxion is working on a drug for the treatment of hereditary ataxias, a group of rare genetic diseases affecting coordination. Biogen Idec is helping to fund the $17 million A round for Ataxion. Joshua Resnick, a partner at Atlas Venture, is CEO and co-founder of Ataxion.

According to a Boston Business Journal article, Mr. Resnick says that:

“ … Biogen Idec has the option to acquire Ataxion after a Phase I trial to determine the proper dosage represents the local drug giant’s desire to spread out to other neurodegenerative disorders.”  

Please Note: “Wall Street & Broadway” by Fletcher6 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0] | Wikimedia Commons.

Copyright © 2012-2014, Orphan Druganaut Blog. All rights reserved.

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