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Akero Therapeutics IPO: What You Need To Know

Shanthi Rexaline

A slew of biotech issues hit the Street this week. Here's a brief on one of them.

The IPO Terms

Akero Therapeutics, Inc, a South San Francisco, California-based clinical-stage biotech, is planning a 5-million share IPO, with the offering estimated to be priced between $14 and $16, according to the S-1/A filing from June 10.

The size of the offering is about $75 million, assuming the issue to be priced at the midpoint of the range.

The company has applied for listing on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AKRO.

Akero said it has opted to comply with certain reduced public company requirements, as it qualifies as an "emerging growth company" under the federal securities law.

JPMorgan, Jefferies, Evercore ISI and Roth Capital Partners are the underwriters for the offering.

The Company

Akero, founded in January 2017, focuses on developing transformative treatments for serious metabolic diseases with high unmet medical need, with the accent on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, which currently has no FDA-approved therapies.

Akero's lead candidate AKR-001, an analog of fibroblast growth factor 21, or FGF21, is being evaluated for NASH. FGF21 is a hormone that regulates metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins and also protects tissues from various forms of stress.

The FDA has cleared the IND for AKR-001 to conduct a Phase 2a clinical trial in NASH patients. The company has begun screening patients May 28 and expects to complete the collection of data for the primary endpoint in the first quarter of 2020. It also plans to complete repeat liver biopsies and all collection of data for the trial in the second quarter of 2020.

The Finances

Akero reported a wider loss of $81.71 million for the fiscal year 2018 compared to $4.56 million in 2017. For the three months ended March 2019, the company reported a loss of $5.36 million.

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