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Alzheimer’s Drug Firm vTv Therapeutics Sets Terms for $125M IPO

Xconomy Raleigh-Durham — 

Drug developer vTv Therapeutics is moving forward with its plans for a public stock offering to support late-stage clinical development of its Alzheimer’s disease drug.

The High Point, NC-based company on Monday set terms for its IPO, proposing to offer 7.8 million shares in the range of $15 to $17 per share. At the midpoint, vTv would raise $125 million. The company has applied to trade on the Nasdaq under the stock symbol “VTVT.”

VTv says its lead drug, a pill called azeliragon, gets in the way of proteins thought to play a primary role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The vTv drug inhibits a receptor for proteins called advanced glycation endproducts, proteins that lead to inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease, among other disorders. By acting on this receptor, vTv says its drug also works against two other proteins associated with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid-beta, and tau. In documents filed with securities regulators, the drug developer says it is the only company with a drug targeting this receptor, and it adds that unlike other Alzheimer’s drugs in development, azeliragon works on multiple targets.

VTv says its drug has the potential to slow the progression of cognitive decline in mild and mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients. The company still has to show that it works, of course, and several companies pursuing Alzheimer’s drugs have shown promise in mid-stage trials only to fail in the larger Phase 3 studies. VTv is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 3 trial for azeliragon, an 800-patient study split into two groups. The company expects to report initial data for the first group in early 2017. Data from the second group are expected by mid-2018. The FDA has granted “fast track status” for the vTv drug, a designation reserved for drug candidates that treat unmet medical needs. If all goes well, vTv says it could submit a new drug application for azeliragon later in 2018.

VTv was founded in 1998 as TransTech Pharma. The company changed its name to vTv earlier this year. As TransTech, the company licensed azeliragon to Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) in 2006. But Pfizer decided not to pursue the drug and returned its rights to the compound to TransTech in 2011. VTv’s executive chairman is Jeffrey Kindler, who was chairman and CEO of Pfizer from 2006 to 2010.

The vTv drug pipeline also includes a type 2 diabetes drug candidate in Phase 2 clinical trials. The company is also developing compounds addressing inflammatory disorders, and the prevention of muscle weakness.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Allan Ajifo under a Creative Commons license.