Audentes Therapeutics Gears Up for Secondary Offering

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Audentes Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BOLD) saw its shares drop early on Wednesday after the company announced the pricing of its secondary offering. The company said that it intends to price its 5.2 million shares at $14.50 per share, with an overallotment option for an additional 780,000 shares. At this price, the entire offering is valued up to $86.71 million.

The underwriters for the offering are Merrill Lynch, Cowen and Piper Jaffray, acting as joint book-running managers. Wedbush PacGrow is acting as the co-manager for the offering.

This biotechnology company is focused on developing and commercializing gene therapy products for patients suffering from serious, life-threatening rare diseases caused by single gene defects. Management believes that gene therapy has powerful potential to treat these diseases through delivery of a functional copy of the affected gene to cells, resulting in production of the normal protein.

Audentes has built a compelling portfolio of product candidates, including AT132 for the treatment of X-linked myotubular myopathy , AT342 for the treatment of Crigler-Najjar syndrome, AT982 for the treatment of Pompe disease, and AT307 for the treatment of the CASQ2 subtype of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.

The Investigational New Drug applications (INDs) for both AT132 and AT342 are active. Audentes’ collaborating institution, the University of Florida, has submitted an investigator sponsored IND to conduct a proof-of-concept study of AT982 delivered via intra-muscular injection in adults with Pompe disease that is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The firm is conducting IND-enabling preclinical studies for the systemic administration of AT982 for the treatment of Pompe disease and exploratory preclinical studies evaluating intrathecal delivery of AT982. Management plans to file an IND for the systemic administration of AT982 in the first half of 2018. Audentes is also conducting IND-enabling studies of AT307 and plan to file an IND in the second half of 2017. The firm expects to have preliminary clinical data from the AT132, AT342 and AT982 programs in the second half of 2017.

Shares of Audentes traded early Wednesday down about 1% at $15.02, with a consensus analyst price target of $22.33 and a 52-week trading range of $13.06 to $20.74.