Reata Pharmaceuticals offered shares to the public yesterday in a much anticipated IPO with an initial offering of 5.5 million Class A common shares at an opening per-share price of $11. The company, headquartered in Irving, Texas, was seeking to raise $52.5 million, with the May 26 start of trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticket symbol RETA.
Citigroup, Cowen and Company, and Piper Jaffray are the underwriters for the offering. Under an agreement with Reata, the three have a 30-day option to purchase up to 825,000 additional stock shares at initial offering price.
Money raised through the IPO will be used by Reata to take its lead product candidate, bardoxolone methyl, into potentially pivotal Phase 3 clinical studies as a pulmonary hypertension treatment. The company is also looking to further the clinical development of a second candidate, omaveloxolone, and to begin preclinical testing of other drugs.
Bardoxolone methyl’s efficacy and safety is now being assessed in a Phase 2 dose-ranging and placebo-controlled study involving more than 200 people with various types of pulmonary hypertension — including PH associated with connective tissue disease, interstitial lung disease, and idiopathic etiologies — and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Promising early results from this LARIAT study (NCT02036970) were released in October at the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) 2015 annual meeting. The drug is also being tested in chronic kidney disease patients with type 2 diabetes in an ongoing Phase 2 study in Japan (NCT02316821).
A possibly decisive Phase 3 trial, assessing the efficacy of bardoxolone methyl to treat PAH associated with connective tissue disease, is expected to begin later this year.
Omaveloxolone — also known as RTA 408 — is also being evaluated in two Phase 2 clinical trials into genetic disorders involving mitochondrial defects. The newly started trials are assessing the efficacy of RTA 408 to treat Friedreich’s ataxia patients (MOXle, NCT02255435) and people with mitochondrial myopathies (MOTOR, NCT02255422).
The two drugs are both members of a class of small molecules called antioxidant inflammation modulators, or AIMs. They are designed to, through a series of processes, increase the production of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes, while reducing oxidative stress and proinflammatory signaling and enabling ATP production (ATP being the primary unit of cellular energy in mitochondria). Because of the wide range of their actions, AIMs have the potential to treat the many diseases whose key features are oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammation.
Reata is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing and commercializing products to modulate the activity of key regulatory proteins involved in the biology of mitochondrial function, oxidative stress, and inflammation to address the unmet medical needs of people with a variety of serious or life-threatening diseases.