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AstraZeneca Spin-Off Viela Bio Files For IPO

Shanthi Rexaline

The IPO market, which has been in a lull in recent weeks, is likely to pick up steam just in time for a year-end push.

Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Viela Bio, Inc., an AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN) spin-off, filed a Form S-1 registration statement with the SEC Thursday for an initial public offering.

IPO Terms

The company has applied for listing its common shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "VIE."

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Cowen and Guggenheim Securities are among the underwriters for the offering.

The Company

Viela is a clinical-stage biotech company developing treatments for autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases. The company focuses on critical biological pathways shared across multiple indications.

The company's lead product candidate inebilizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting CD19, a molecule expressed on the surface of a broad range of immune system B cells.

Inebilizumab is initially being developed as a first-line monotherapy treatment for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, or NMOSD, a rare condition affecting the optic nerve, spinal cord and brain stem, invariably leading to irreversible blindness and paralysis.

Viela announced Tuesday the FDA's acceptance of its BLA for inebilizumab in NMOSD.

The rest of Viela's pipeline includes two additional clinical-stage and two pre-clinical product candidates, all focusing on a number of autoimmune diseases.

AstraZeneca has a 38.4% stake in the biotech, with agreements to supply clinical and commercial drug substances and products. Additionally, Viela's founding management team as well as a significant portion of its R&D staff are drawn from MedImmune, which AstraZeneca acquired in 2018.

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