As expected, it has been a
very slow week for IPOs. Yesterday, two small deals were made even smaller as the
companies were forced to cut the size of the IPOs down due to the tough
conditions in the market. Specifically, Tuanche (TC) reduced its offering to
2.6 mln shares from 3.0 mln, and priced its IPO towards the low end of
expectations ($7.80 vs. $7.50-$9.50). Meanwhile, Tiziana Life Sciences (TLSA)
slashed its IPO down to 443K shares from 1.01 mln, while pricing its deal
inline with expectations at $9.90.
Today, we have yet another deal that was cut in size as Taiwan Liposome (TLC 6.51, +0.71, +12.24%) priced its downsized 3.75 mln ADS IPO (originally 5.0 mln shares) at $5.80. TLC's common shares already trade on the Taipei Exchange, and, at the time of its most recent IPO prospectus, the stock was trading at $5.80 per ADS. So, its IPO essentially priced inline with expectations.
The IPO was led by Cantor Fitzgerald and the stock is set to open for trading later this morning on the Nasdaq.
TLC is a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing novel nanomedicines that combine its proprietary lipid-assembled drug delivery platform with approved active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). It believes that its extensive experience with liposome science allows it to combine onset speed and benefit duration, and to improve API concentrations at target tissues while decreasing unwanted systemic exposures.
The company's BioSeizer lipid formulation technology is designed to enable both local sustained release and fast onset of APIs at the site of disease or injury with increased pharmacokinetic (PK) control, made possible by customization of lipid layers. BioSeizer is utilized in its TLC599, TLC399 and TLC590 programs.
TLC's NanoX active drug loading technology is designed to alter the systemic exposure of the drug, potentially reducing dosing frequency and enhancing distribution of liposome-encapsulated APIs to the desired site. It believes NanoX is capable of loading over 50 various compounds and is applied to its TLC178 program.
Since its product candidates use already approved APIs, it intends to utilize the streamlined 505(b)(2) regulatory pathway for approval in the United States, which would allow it to rely, in part, on data from investigations that it has not conducted or sponsored and for which it has not obtained a right of reference.
With that in mind, here is a closer look at the company's four main product candidates:
- TLC599: This is TLC's primary lead product candidate, TLC599, is an intraarticular, or in-joint, non-opioid injectable BioSeizer formulation of the API steroid dexamethasone sodium phosphate (DSP), which TLC believes has the potential to become an attractive treatment for the management of osteoarthritis pain. It is investigating TLC599 as a therapeutic that has the potential to deliver rapid pain relief and to maintain this pain relief for up to six months. The company recently completed a Phase II clinical trial, in which TLC599 met the primary endpoint and numerous key secondary endpoints.
- TLC399: Its second product candidate, TLC399, is a BioSeizer formulation of DSP intended as an intravitreal, or in-eye, injection for the treatment of macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion. In preclinical models, TLC399 achieved therapeutic drug levels in the eye for at least six months after a single administration.
- TLC590: The third product candidate, TLC590, is a BioSeizer formulation of the API ropivacaine, a non-opioid anesthetic, and is in development for post-surgical pain management. In preclinical studies, TLC590 extended the effective half-life of ropivacaine by about 20-fold and displayed earlier onset and a longer and larger magnitude of anesthetic effect than a marketed extended release bupivacaine product.
- TLC 178: Its last product candidate, TLC178, uses its NanoX targeted delivery technology with the anticancer drug, vinorelbine tartrate, as the API to treat rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of soft tissue sarcoma that most frequently occurs in children.
Taking a quick look at the financials, TLC generated operating revenue of $1.5 mln and operating loss of ($19.5) mln for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. It had cash and equivalents of $33.4 mln, on a pro forma basis, as of September 30, 2018. Based upon its current operating plan, TLC believes that the net proceeds from this offering, together with its existing cash and cash equivalents, will enable it to fund its operating expenses and capital requirements for at least the next 12 months.