Rare Daily Staff

Aerovate Therapeutics raised $121.5 million in an upsized initial public offering of 8.7 million shares of common stock at a $14.00 per share.

In addition, Aerovate granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.3 million shares of common stock at the initial public offering price per share, less the underwriting discounts and commissions. The shares will trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “AVTE.”

The IPO comes less than one year after the company emerged with $72 million to repurpose the well-known cancer drug imatinib (Gleevec) to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare proliferative disorder of the pulmonary vasculature that progresses rapidly and afflicts approximately 80,000 people worldwide and for which there are, to date, no approved disease-modifying therapies. PAH is characterized by remodeling, constriction, and occlusion of the small pulmonary arteries resulting in elevated blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation. PAH causes significant strain on the heart, leading to limited physical activity, heart failure, and reduced life expectancy.

Vasodilator therapies, the current standard of care, dilate pulmonary vessels but do not directly modify the disease. PAH often progresses at a fast pace. The five-year survival rate is only 57 percent. Aerovate estimates that based on $5 billion annual sales from the currently approved vasodilator drugs, the market for disease modifying PAH therapies is significant.

An oral version of imatinib showed significant efficacy in a phase 3 trial as a disease-modifying therapy for PAH, but it was poorly tolerated by PAH patients because of systemic side effects. Aerovate’s AV-101 is a proprietary inhaled, dry powder aerosol version of imatinib to treat PAH that is delivered directly to diseased lung tissues and is currently being studied in a registrational trial.

Aerovate is the 17th company focused on rare disease therapeutics to complete an IPO in the first half of 2021. These 17 companies have so far raised $3.4 billion through IPOs, 36 percent of the $9.4 billion raised by 58 therapeutics drug developers through IPOs during the first half of 2021.  

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