RARE Daily

Vera Raises $250 Million to Advance Late Stage Development of Atacicept in IgAN

January 30, 2024

Rare Daily Staff

Vera Therapeutics tapped the public markets to raise $250 million on the heels of reporting positive 72-week data from the open label extension period of its phase 2b ORIGIN clinical trial of atacicept in participants with IgA nephropathy.

The company priced 8.1 million shares of its Class A common stock at $31 a share in an upsized underwritten public offering. The gross proceeds to Vera from the offering, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, are expected to be approximately $250 million.

In addition, Vera has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.2 million shares of Class A common stock at the public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions.

Vera is a late clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing treatments for serious immunological diseases. Lead candidate atacicept is a fusion protein self-administered as a subcutaneous injection once weekly that blocks both B-cell activating factor (BAFF) and A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), which stimulate B cells and plasma cells to produce autoantibodies contributing to certain autoimmune diseases, including IgAN, also known as Berger’s disease, and lupus nephritis.

The phase 2b ORIGIN clinical trial of atacicept in IgAN met its primary endpoint and showed a statistically significant reduction in mean proteinuria versus baseline at weeks 24 and 36. After completing the 36-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled period of the phase 2b ORIGIN trial, all participants were eligible to receive atacicept 150 mg in the open label expansion study (OLE).

The data showed that participants treated with atacicept for 72 weeks demonstrated a 62 percent reduction in Gd-IgA1, a reduction in the percentage of participants with hematuria to 19 percent, and a 48 percent reduction in UPCR in the per-protocol (PP) analysis. Participants who switched from placebo to atacicept demonstrated similar outcomes across each of the key indicators of IgAN as compared to participants originally randomized to atacicept during the first 36 weeks of the trial.

Safety data in the open label extension were consistent with the randomized period and indicated that atacicept was generally well-tolerated.

Vera’s ongoing pivotal ORIGIN 3 trial is currently underway, with enrollment on track to be completed in the second half of 2024.

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