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Gene Therapy Player Vera Therapeutics Prices IPO Well Below Range At $11/Share

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  • Vera Therapeutics Inc has priced its 4.35 million share IPO at $11 per share, well below its targeted range of $14 to $16, raising $47.58 million in gross proceeds. The biotech will start trading on NASDAQ from Monday under the ticker “VERA.”

  • Vera’s lead candidate atacicept is a fusion protein to treat IgA nephropathy that recently went through Phase 2a trials.

  • IgAN, also known as Berger’s disease, can lead to inflammatory tissue damage and kidney failure.

  • In its initial S-1 filing seeking as much as $86.25 million, Vera said it would use between $30 million and $35 million to complete its Phase 2b trials, and another $15 million to $20 million to initiate a Phase 2b or Phase 3 trial for patients with lupus nephritis.

  • The company said the proceeds would be able to fund operations for the next 18 months.

  • In 2009, the drug was licensed to Merck KGaA (OTCMKTS: MKGAF), but most of the trials came up short to treat multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Last November, shortly after the German pharma announced the successful Phase IIa data for patients with IgAN, Vera licensed the drug for a 10% equity stake and about $733 million in milestones.

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