Mapi Pharma again considers Nasdaq IPO


Mapi will now raise $10-30 million in the first quarter of 2015, either through an IPO or a private placement.

Mapi Pharma, which develops delayed release drugs, including a delayed release version of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) Copaxone, has begun a trial of this product's effectiveness on humans, and is again considering an IPO. Founded by former Teva employees, Mapi is managed by CEO Ehud Marom. Its version of Copaxone is designed to release the drug only once a month, instead of once every two days in the less frequent version currently offered by Teva.

Mapi attempted an IPO on Nasdaq in the second half of 2014, seeking to raise $40 million at a company value of $200-230 million. When the company was unable to raise this amount, it cut the amount to be raised to $20 million at a $120 million company value, but was still unable to complete the offering, and postponed its efforts to a later date.

Marom says that Mapi will now raise $10-30 million in the first quarter of 2015, either through an offering to the public or a private placement. Another option is giving the commercial rights to the drug to a corporation operating in the multiple sclerosis field. Marom does not deny that Teva itself is interested in the product.

Marom believes that Mapi is currently well positioned for an offering, because the Copaxone segment in which it is seeking to operate now appears more secure, while imitating or devising a substitute for Copaxone is proving more difficult than previously thought.

"When we enter the market in 2018, we'll probably be competing in a Copaxone market of $1 billion or more, not just several hundred million dollars, as we thought in our attempted IPO," Marom said.

Meanwhile, Mapi has signed three more agreements with other companies for joint development of delayed release generic drugs. According to Marom, the first product from these ventures is scheduled to reach the market in 2017.

Because it uses a recognized molecule, Mapi needs to submit to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only the result of its Phase III trial, but it has decided to conduct a Phase II trial, both in order to learn about the patients' response before entering the critical trial and to obtain earlier effectiveness results. Marom estimates that $30 million will be enough to finance both trials.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 23, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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