Swiss biotech AC Immune readies US IPO
- Fresh off a $44 million private financing round, Switzerland-based AC Immune on Tuesday filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering aimed at raising up to $50 million, Reuters reports.
- The company plans to list its common stock on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker ACIU. Credit Suisse, Jefferies, and Leerink Partners will underwrite the IPO, according to a regulatory filing.
- AC Immune has five clinical programs underway, with its Alzheimer's drug crenezumab the farthest along.
AC Immune has been involved in high-profile partnerships before, including a $400 million deal with Genentech to co-develop and co-market crenezumab, an anti-beta amyloid monoclonal antibody being studied for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and a $500 million partnership with Johnson & Johnson for an anti-tau vaccine, also for AD.
Although crenezumab hit a setback in phase 2, a decision was made to push it into phase 3 because of earlier test results showing an effect in patients with milder forms of AD.
Although there are several agents available to treat the symptoms of AD, there are no disease-modifying drugs. Moreover, there have been well over 100 notable failures in AD drug development over the last 20 years. In this context, current AD development has turned its focus to patients with mild, early forms of disease known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as well as those with early stage post-MCI disease.
AC Immune has largely been funded by German billionaire Dietmar Hopp, according to Reuters. He holds a 37.7% stake in the company. Additional investors and large-stake shareholders include Varuma AG, which holds 23.8% of the company and AC Immune's CEO, who holds 6.4% of the company's shares.