PolyPid takes aim at Nasdaq once again

probiotics, antibiotics, clinical trial, bacteria  image: Shutterstock

The company, which has  developed an implant for delayed release of antibiotics, plans an IPO at a $300 million valuation.

PolyPid, which has developed an implant for delayed release of antibiotics, is again planning an offering on Nasdaq, to take place during June. The company intends to hold the offering at a valuation of $300 million. This will be PolyPid's third attempt at an IPO. In its last attempt, in 2018, it planned to raise $75 million at a valuation of $370 million, but, as in its first attempt in 2014, the plan met with a falling market, and was postponed.

The US capital market is now recovering gradually from the blow it sustained when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, but is still in a state of uncertainty. At 4,229.57 points, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index is now 47% above its low of 2,961.94 in March, and above the peak of 3,867.96 that it reached on February 20, just before the Covid-19 crisis hit. The US capital market has not been flooded with new offerings during this period, but there have been some, a large proportion of them by healthcare companies. Of thirteen IPOs since the beginning of March, eight were in the healthcare sector, not necessarily to do with the coronavirus, with one Israeli representative, Ayala Pharmaceuticals.

PolyPid's product is an antibiotic packed in a polymer (plastic-like molecules) and lipid (fat molecules) matrix; the company's name is derived from a combination of the two. The poly-pid carrier dissolves and releases the antibiotic in a measured dosage over a period of time that can be as long as several months. This makes it possible to avoid infection in the affected area of the body (following surgery or a fracture, for example), without taking any antibiotic orally or intravenously during the period, and without replacing an implant releasing a local antibiotic in repeated operations.

The company is in the midst of a Phase III trial aimed at obtaining US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its product. The trial is for the prevention of infection following cardiac surgery, and within the next few months the company is due to start a Phase III trial for the prevention of infection in abdominal surgery. The company has additional products applying its technology in initial stages of development.

The main investors in PolyPid are Morris Kahn's Aurum Ventures; CHealth Ventures, controlled by Chaim Hurvitz; Leon Recantai's GlenRock; the Friendly Angels Club group; Shavit Capital; Xenia Venture Capital; and private investors from the US. According to the IVC database, PolyPid has so far raised $104 million.

The company's CEO is Amir Weisberg, and Jacob Harel is chairman of its board of directors. According to the prospectus published in 2018, it posted a loss of $54 million in 2017, of which $40 million was a finance expense arising from revaluation of options, and it burned $12 million cash that year. At the end of 2017, it had $18 million cash. Its last fund raising round was in 2018-2019, and amounted to $65 million.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 1, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

probiotics, antibiotics, clinical trial, bacteria  image: Shutterstock
probiotics, antibiotics, clinical trial, bacteria image: Shutterstock
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