Akcea Therapeutics Announces Potential Pricing for IPO

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Akcea Therapeutics has registered an amended S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its initial public offering (IPO). The company expects to price its 9.62 million shares in the range of $12 to $14 per share, with an overallotment option for an additional 1.44 million shares. At the maximum price, the entire offering is valued up to $154.88 million. The company intends to list its stock on the Nasdaq under the symbol AKCA.

The underwriters for the offering are Cowen, Stifel and Wells Fargo.

This late-stage biopharmaceutical company is focused on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders. The firm’s main goal is to become the premier company offering treatments for inadequately treated lipid disorders.

Akcea is advancing a mature pipeline of four novel drugs with the potential to treat multiple diseases. Its drugs, volanesorsen, AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx, AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx, are all based on antisense technology developed by Ionis Pharmaceuticals. Its most advanced drug, volanesorsen, has completed a Phase 3 clinical program for the treatment of familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) and is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of familial partial lipodystrophy (FPL).

FCS and FPL are both severe, rare, genetically defined lipid disorders characterized by extremely elevated levels of triglycerides. Both diseases have life-threatening consequences and the lives of patients with these diseases are impacted daily by the associated symptoms. In its clinical program, Akcea has observed consistent and substantial (>70%) decreases in triglycerides and improvements in other manifestations of FCS, including pancreatitis attacks and abdominal pain. Management believes the safety and efficacy data from the volanesorsen program demonstrate a favorable risk-benefit profile for patients with FCS. In the third quarter of 2017, Akcea plans to file for marketing authorization for volanesorsen to treat patients with FCS.

The company intends to use the net proceeds from this offering to further develop its pipeline, with the remainder going toward working capital and general corporate purposes.