RARE Daily

Pliant Therapeutics Raises $144 Million in Initial Public Offering

June 3, 2020

Pliant Therapeutics raised $144 million in an initial public offering, kicking off a queue of companies focused on rare disease therapies that are looking to go public.

Pliant sold 9 million shares of its common stock at $16.00 per share and will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “PLRX.”

Pliant has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,350,000 shares of common stock at the initial public offering price. In addition, Pliant will sell an additional 625,000 shares in a concurrent private placement at $16.00 per share to existing investor Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

The IPO comes just three months after raising $100 million in venture funding to support development of its rare fibrotic disease pipeline. Pliant’s lead small molecule product candidate PLN-74809 is designed to be a dual selective inhibitor of two integrins that play key roles in multiple fibrotic pathways, targeting the fibrotic process in both the liver cells and bile ducts, and potentially slowing down the progression of disease.

PLN-74809 is currently being evaluated for treatment of two rare conditions: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a serious, life-limiting lung disease characterized by fibrosis and scarring of lung tissue with a median survival of 3 to 5 years after diagnosis; and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare, chronic, and progressive liver disorder of unknown origin, which frequently occurs in the setting of inflammatory bowel disease and is characterized by inflammation, and eventually scarring of the liver and its bile ducts, and for which there are currently no approved therapies.

In phase 1 trials, PLN-74809 was well tolerated, with a half-life -74809 is currently in phase 2a testing for IPF. Pliant is currently recruiting two phase 2a trials of PLN-74809 for the treatment of IPF and plans to initiate a phase 2a trial in PSC in the second half of 2020. Pliant’s second product candidate, PLN-1474, is a small-molecule selective inhibitor of the avß1 integrin for the treatment of liver fibrosis associated with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which Pliant has partnered with Novartis.

PLN-74809 has received Orphan Drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of both IPF and PSC.


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