San Diego’s Conatus Pharmaceuticals Sets Price Range for IPO Shares

Xconomy San Diego — 

After disclosing a planned IPO last month, San Diego’s Conatus Pharmaceuticals said in an updated filing yesterday that it plans to offer 5 million shares at a price between $10 and $12 per share. An additional 750,000 shares would be sold if underwriters exercise their option to extend the offering.

Conatus estimates the offering would generate $56.4 million in net proceeds for the company if underwriters offer all 5.75 million shares at $11 per share, the midpoint of the price range. The company says net proceeds would be used to advance the clinical development of emricasan for treating inflammation in chronic liver disease, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Conatus plans to allocate about $22.5 million to fund a midstage study of emricasan, its lead drug candidate, in the United States and Europe (where the study is designated as a late-stage trial) among Hepatitis C patients with rapidly progressing fibrosis of the liver. Among these patients, Conatus says, the progression of fibrosis is particularly rapid, and the company wants to assess whether emricasan can halt this progression, which eventually leads to cirrhosis and ultimately liver failure.

About $4.5 million would be used to fund a planned mid-stage trial in patients with established liver cirrhosis, and another $3.8 million is designated for patients with decompensated liver disease.

Conatus plans to trade on the Nasdaq exchange under ticker symbol CNAT. Venture investors in the company include Aberdare Ventures, which holds a 23.3 percent pre-IPO stake; Advent Venture Capital, 21.1 percent; Gilde Healthcare, 14.3 percent; MPM Capital, 11.2 percent; AgeChem Venture Fund, 7.6 percent; and Roche Finance, 6.7 percent.