SF Biotech FibroGen, Inc. Plots $125 Million IPO As It Muscles Its Way Into Fibrosis

Published: Oct 01, 2014

Fibrogen Plots $125M IPO As It Muscles Its Way Into Fibrosis

October 1, 2014

By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Sr. Editor

Another Bay Area biotech is joining the initial public offering fray, after San Francisco-based FibroGen, Inc. on Wednesday filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $125 million.

Fibrogen specializes in novel drugs for anemia in chronic kidney disease. It has not yet picked a stock ticker for its listing on the NASDAQ and did not announce how many shares it would offer.

But Fibrogen did release that it has retained Goldman Sachs, Citi and Leerink Partners as joint bookrunners on the deal. Fibrogen’s drug platform focuses primarily on fibrosis and hypoxia-inducible factor, or HIF. It has thus far touted roxadustat, or FG-4592, is an oral small molecule inhibitor of HIF prolyl hydroxylases, or HIF-PHs, in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of anemia in chronic kidney disease.

The drug has garnered significant attention after large biotech shop AstraZeneca spent $1.6 billion in 2013 for the U.S. and Chinese rights to roxadustat. Rival Astellas already has a $917.6 million agreement in place to market the drug in Japan, Europe and the Middle East.

The company said money raised from the IPO will go toward developing roxadustat and other drug candidates in its pipeline, including FG-3019, is a monoclonal antibody in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pancreatic cancer and liver fibrosis. Fibrogen has retained the full rights to FG-3019, an antibody for connective tissue growth factor, which is integral to fibrosis process.

The payoff for both the IPO and the success of FG-3019 is substantial: Decision Resources Group estimates that IPF drugs could eventually rake in $4.6 billion in sales across the U.S. and Europe by 2020.

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