Dova Pharmaceuticals Closes in on IPO

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Dova Pharmaceuticals has filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its initial public offering (IPO). The company intends to price its 4.06 million shares in the range of $15 to $17 per share, with an overallotment option for an additional 609,375 shares. At the maximum price, the entire offering is valued up to $79.42 million. The company intends to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol DOVA.

The underwriters for the offering are JPMorgan, Jefferies and Leerink Partners.

This pharmaceutical company is focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing drug candidates for diseases that are treated by specialist physicians, with an initial focus on addressing thrombocytopenia, a disorder characterized by a low blood platelet count.

Its drug candidate, avatrombopag, which it acquired from Eisai in March 2016, is an orally administered thrombopoietin receptor agonist that it is developing for the treatment of thrombocytopenia.

The company recently completed two identically designed pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials that evaluated avatrombopag for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) who are undergoing non-emergent minimally to moderately invasive medical procedures. Avatrombopag met the primary and secondary endpoints in each of these clinical trials with high statistical significance. Based on these results, a new drug application (NDA), is planned for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this initial indication in the third quarter of 2017.

Dova said in the filing:

We believe that avatrombopag’s efficacy and safety profile in combination with its convenient oral dosing could provide advantages over other treatments for patients with thrombocytopenia. We believe avatrombopag’s pharmacokinetic, or PK, profile and pharmacodynamic, or PD, profile as well as its metabolic characteristics are the core attributes that differentiate it from the currently marketed TPO-RAs and make it a compelling treatment option for patients with thrombocytopenia. To date, avatrombopag has been evaluated in more than 20 clinical trials involving more than 1,100 subjects and has been observed to be generally well tolerated. We believe that avatrombopag may, therefore, have the potential to be used more broadly for patients with thrombocytopenia, including patients without CLD, and we are exploring regulatory and clinical development strategies that would support this expanded use.

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.