San Diego’s Evoke Pharma Files IPO to Advance Gastrointestinal Drug

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego’s Evoke Pharma, founded in 2007 to advance a nasal spray used to treat diabetic gastroparesis, plans to raise $23.9 million through an IPO as an “emerging growth company,” according to a recent securities filing.

Under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, companies that qualify as an emerging growth company can take advantage of reduced financial reporting requirements that would otherwise apply to public companies. Evoke would be one of the first life sciences companies in San Diego to test the practicality of the relaxed disclosure rules, and how well investors accept them.

Evoke has kept a low profile—the most recent news release on the company’s website is more than four years old—but in its IPO filing, the company discloses plenty of pluses and minuses for investors to consider .

On the plus side, Evoke was co-founded by Cam Garner, the veteran San Diego life sciences entrepreneur. The two VCs with the biggest stake in the company (with each holding a nearly 31 percent stake) are the experienced life sciences investors Domain Associates and Latterell Venture Partners. The other co-founders are CEO David Gonyer, who was previously an executive at Medgenex and Xcel Pharmaceuticals; CFO Matthew D’Onofrio, a former executive at Victory Pharma and Vertex Pharmaceuticals; and Scott Glenn, the managing partner of Windamere Venture Partners.

Evoke also is running on a lean business model. The company has only two full-time employees, and says it relies on outsourcing for many activities, including development of … Next Page »

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