IPO of RUSNANO's "daughter"
Biopharmaceutical portfolio company RUSNANO has successfully entered an IPO in New York
RUSNANO Press Center
Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the portfolio of RosnanoMedInvest LLC (RMI, a 100% subsidiary of RUSNANO JSC), held an initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ American stock exchange on October 30. The company is engaged in research and development of innovative products for antiviral therapy, including against COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
Atea Pharmaceuticals has placed 12.5 million ordinary shares at a price of $24 apiece. Thus, the volume of the IPO amounted to $300 million, and the valuation of the entire company was about $1.94 billion. The placement took place on the NASDAQ stock exchange, specializing in shares of high-tech companies; company ticker: AVIR.
On the first day of trading, the company's shares rose by more than 25%.
The organizers of the IPO were the largest investment banks: J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Evercore ISI, William Blair.
The funds from the IPO will be used primarily for clinical research, as well as to support the company's operational activities. The company's main program (AT-527) is the creation of a direct antiviral drug against the SARS–CoV-2 virus, which is the cause of the new COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Currently, this program is in the second phase of clinical trials. The company also conducts clinical research in the treatment of hepatitis C, human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and dengue fever.
RMI acquired a stake in Atea's Round A financing in April 2014. RMI is not planning to participate directly in the IPO.
In addition to RMI, the following venture funds are among the main shareholders of Atea: Morningside Investments Limited, Cormorant Private Healthcare Fund, JPM Partners, Bain Capital Life Sciences Investors, ABG–ATEAB Limited, as well as key management of the company.
"The investment in Atea is the most successful transaction of RMI and a classic story of venture success. We invested in the company in 2014 at the very initial stage of its formation. Before our eyes, Atea has gone all the way through technological development – from the search for a potentially effective and safe candidate for direct antiviral action in laboratory experiments and preclinical studies on animal models, to obtaining preliminary, but significant, practical clinical results in the treatment of a number of diseases that are a challenge to all mankind," comments Atea Pharmaceuticals Managing Director for investment activity of RUSNANO Management Company Olga Shpichko.
At the same time, she notes that Atea Pharmaceuticals has yet to convincingly prove the effectiveness of the drug in the treatment of COVID-19 as part of a large and final clinical trial of the third phase in 2021. "However, we are confident that a huge reserve in the form of a solid scientific and clinical base will allow the company to obtain impressive results and repeat success in other areas of clinical development, primarily in the treatment of hepatitis C, which is also an acute social problem worldwide," she stressed.
Biopharmaceutical company Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is engaged in research and development of innovative products for antiviral therapy in relation to RNA-containing viruses. The company is engaged in the following programs for the treatment of life-threatening viral infections: COVID-19 (the main program), hepatitis C, human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and dengue fever.
In connection with the global pandemic of the new coronavirus infection COVID-19, which unfolded globally in February-March 2020, the company promptly switched the main focus of its research to the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In May-October, two tranches attracted a Series D round of investments totaling $215 million The start of the clinical trial of the second phase of the candidate AT-527 in the field of COVID-19 treatment occurred in May 2020. The results of the study are expected in early 2021, after which, also in 2021, the company plans to launch the last phase 3 of a clinical trial for the treatment of COVID-19.
In October 2020, the company entered into a licensing agreement with the global pharmaceutical company Roche (Switzerland), under the terms of which Roche was assigned the rights to the AT-527 candidate in the field of COVID-19 treatment (with the exception of the United States). The upfront payment from Roche, under the terms of the agreement, amounted to $350 million. The agreement also provides for further significant payments depending on the progress of the clinical program against COVID-19 (milestones) and royalties from future sales.
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