Upsized Nasdaq IPO Yields Calliditas €80M to Commercialize Kidney Drug

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Swedish company Calliditas Therapeutics has raised an €80M IPO on the Nasdaq Global Select Market — 20% above its initial target — to fund an ongoing phase III trial of its lead candidate treatment for an inflammatory kidney condition.

Calliditas plans to use the net proceeds together with its existing cash resources to fund an ongoing phase III trial of its lead candidate drug, Nefecon, in patients with the inflammatory kidney disease IgA nephropathy (IgAN), also known as Berger’s disease. Initial results are expected in the last quarter of this year, with follow-up data due in 2022.

If the trial findings are positive, the funds will also support the company’s bid to commercialize Nefecon in the US, as well as the development of other unspecified treatment candidates.

The drug, which has already been granted orphan drug designation for autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cholangitis by the FDA, is a patented oral formulation of the well-known steroid-type medication budesonide.

The formulation is designed to pass through the stomach and large intestine without being absorbed, delivering the active ingredient to the targeted area in the small intestine, where the disease originates. This means that a high concentration can be applied locally, limiting systemic side effects.

Calliditas is the first Swedish company across all sectors to list on the Nasdaq Global Market in the past 15 years. Its common shares are also listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

Last year the company targeted the Chinese market by signing a €107M licensing agreement with Everest Medicines, which will develop and commercialize Nefecon in the regions around China and Singapore. 

Of note, Calliditas is not the only European company to do well in the US market recently. Last month, Lausanne-based ADC Therapeutics exceeded its target of €172M by more than €40M on a New York Stock Exchange IPO, while the Israeli oncology company Ayala Pharmaceuticals raised 10% more than expected from its IPO on the Nasdaq Global Market, with a final total of €51M.

Another public company in Sweden to overperform — this time on home soil — was biotech firm Oncopeptides, which recently raised an impressive €133M in a share issue on Nasdaq Stockholm.

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