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Chimerix and Omthera Go Public in Upsized Offerings

One company prices in its target range, the other at a significant discount.

MARIE DAGHLIAN

The Burrill Report

Two therapeutics companies—Chimerix and Omthera Pharmaceuticals—priced upsized initial public offerings and began trading on the Nasdaq. While both companies have yet to earn income, Chimerix priced its offering at the midpoint of its target range, while Omthera had to discount its shares by more than a third to get its deal done.

Chimerix’s successful IPO carried through its first day of trading, with shares ending up 34.2 percent, while Omthera’s shares, discounted pre-IPO, received a further 7.3 percent haircut in the first day of trading.

Research Triangle Park-based Chimerix priced 7.3 million shares at $14 per share to raise $102 million. The developer of oral antivirals had originally planned to raise $85 million in an offer to sell 6.1 million shares, but upsized the offering by 20 percent. Venture backer Aisling Capital committed to purchasing $15 million of the offering. Shares climbed quickly after the company’s debut and ended at $18.79 in the first day of trading.

Chimerix’ lead drug, CMX001, is a broad spectrum oral nucleotide analog lipid-conjugate that blocks replication of double-stranded DNA viruses, including cytomegalovirus, or CMV, and has successfully completed a mid-stage trial for the prevention of cytomegalovirus infection in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. While latent cytomegalovirus infection is common and rarely causes problems, for patients undergoing transplants and for those who are immune-compromised it can lead to serious problems. Chimerix is also developing CMX001 as a potential medical countermeasure against smallpox under a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. A second pipeline candidate, CMX157, is in early stage development as a treatment for HIV infection, and was licensed to Merck in July 2012.

Concurrent with its IPO filing, Chimerix hired Michael Rogers as its chief development officer. Rogers was chief development officer at the hepatitis C drug developer Pharmasset for five years, until Gilead Sciences acquired the company at the end of 2011 for $11 billion.

Princeton, New Jersey-based Omthera priced 8 million shares at $8 per share to raise $64 million. The specialty pharmaceutical slashed its price almost 40 percent from the midpoint of its target range of $12 to $14 and increased the number of shares offered by 38 percent.

Omthera is focused on treatments for dyslipidemia, an abnormal amount of cholesterol or lipids in the blood, and cardiovascular diseases. Epanova, currently the company’s only drug candidate, is a late-stage, omega-3 free fatty acid supplement that also contains other key beneficial lipids to lower triglyceride levels. The patent protected formulation can be taken with or without meals for improved patient compliance. Omthera holds worldwide rights to Epanova under a license from Chrysalis Pharma, a privately held Swiss company that is the owner of the product.

Two therapeutics companies—Chimerix and Omthera Pharmaceuticals—priced upsized initial public offerings and began trading on the Nasdaq. While both companies have yet to earn income, Chimerix priced its offering at the midpoint of its target range, while Omthera had to discount its shares by more than a third to get its deal done.

Chimerix’s successful IPO carried through its first day of trading, with shares ending up 34.2 percent, while Omthera’s shares, discounted pre-IPO, received a further 7.3 percent haircut in the first day of trading.

Research Triangle Park-based Chimerix priced 7.3 million shares at $14 per share to raise $102 million. The developer of oral antivirals had originally planned to raise $85 million in an offer to sell 6.1 million shares, but upsized the offering by 20 percent. Venture backer Aisling Capital committed to purchasing $15 million of the offering. Shares climbed quickly after the company’s debut and ended at $18.79 in the first day of trading.

Chimerix’ lead drug, CMX001, is a broad spectrum oral nucleotide analog lipid-conjugate that blocks replication of double-stranded DNA viruses, including cytomegalovirus, or CMV, and has successfully completed a mid-stage trial for the prevention of cytomegalovirus infection in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. While latent cytomegalovirus infection is common and rarely causes problems, for patients undergoing transplants and for those who are immune-compromised it can lead to serious problems. Chimerix is also developing CMX001 as a potential medical countermeasure against smallpox under a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. A second pipeline candidate, CMX157, is in early stage development as a treatment for HIV infection, and was licensed to Merck in July 2012.

Concurrent with its IPO filing, Chimerix hired Michael Rogers as its chief development officer. Rogers was chief development officer at the hepatitis C drug developer Pharmasset for five years, until Gilead Sciences acquired the company at the end of 2011 for $11 billion.

Princeton, New Jersey-based Omthera priced 8 million shares at $8 per share to raise $64 million. The specialty pharmaceutical slashed its price almost 40 percent from the midpoint of its target range of $12 to $14 and increased the number of shares offered by 38 percent.

Omthera is focused on treatments for dyslipidemia, an abnormal amount of cholesterol or lipids in the blood, and cardiovascular diseases. Epanova, currently the company’s only drug candidate, is a late-stage, omega-3 free fatty acid supplement that also contains other key beneficial lipids to lower triglyceride levels. The patent protected formulation can be taken with or without meals for improved patient compliance. Omthera holds worldwide rights to Epanova under a license from Chrysalis Pharma, a privately held Swiss company that is the owner of the product.



April 12, 2013
http://www.burrillreport.com/article-chimerix_and_omthera_go_public_in_upsized_offerings.html

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