By Alex Keown
South San Francisco-based Principia Biopharma is looking to become a publicly traded company and is aiming for a $86 million initial public offering. The company filed its prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 17.
The small biotech focuses on the development of reversible covalent and irreversible covalent, small molecule inhibitors through its proprietary Tailored Covalency platform.
Using its Tailored Covalency platform, Principia has developed several drug candidates and maintains worldwide rights on its most advanced platforms, PRN1008 and PRN1371. PRN1008, a reversible covalent BTK inhibitor, is currently in a Phase II clinical trial in patients with pemphigus, an orphan autoimmune disease. The company noted that interim data taken in April shows that the drug hit its primary endpoint of “control of disease activity.” Principia is looking at initiating a Phase III trial by the end of this year. Principia is also developing PRN1008 for the treatment of immune thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare autoimmune disease in which the blood levels of platelets drop to unsafe levels. In its prospectus, Principia said it believes there are “numerous immunological disorders for which PRN1008 may demonstrate therapeutic benefit.”
PRN1371, a covalent FGFR1-4 inhibitor, is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in cancer patients with various metastatic solid tumors. Principia said it intends to “initially study” PRN1371 for treatment of early- and late-stage bladder cancer.
In November, Principia struck a deal with Sanofi to develop a multiple sclerosis treatment, PRN2246. The deal, worth up to $765 million, will see Sanofi focus on Principia’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor PRN2246, an experimental oral treatment for MS. The drug is designed to access the brain and spinal cord by crossing the blood-brain barrier and impact immune cell and brain cell signaling. Last year Principia said it has initiated a Phase I trial for PRN2246 in healthy volunteers.
Principia said it intends to use the funds raised in the IPO to advance PRN1008 “to commercialization” in pemphigus, ITP and other rare immunological disease indications. It’s also aimed at driving its PRN1371 candidate into the next stage of development. Principia said it is also looking at expanding its pipeline by “creating additional highly selective, oral drug candidates against important targets in immunology and oncology.”
It plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol PRNB. In its SEC filing, Principia said its underwriters are BofA Merrill Lynch, Leerink Partners, Baird and Wells Fargo.
Over the company’s last fiscal year, Renaissance Capital noted that Principia “booked $29 million in sales.”