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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals IPO Seeks $64 Million

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchanges Commission for an initial public offering. According to the terms of its IPO filed July 17, the company plans to raise around $65 million. It will offer 4.3 million shares with an initial offering price between $14 and $16 per share. The company will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol SNNA. The company also announced that there will be 650,000 shares which its underwriters J.P. Morgan, Cowen and BMO Capital Markets have the option to purchase. The Westlake Village biotech’s products are all in clinical stage trials, meaning there is no product currently on the market. The company’s research focus on topical treatments for skin conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. It has also developed a laser treatment platform used for acne and removal of unwanted hair. Sienna is a classic case of a venture-funded startup, led by experienced executives in the industry. More than half of the leadership team came from Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, a Westlake Village company that was bought for $2.1 billion by pharmaceutical giant Allergan in 2015. Several Sienna executives also have prior experience at Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. Shortly after Sienna completed series A financing that raised $46 million last year, it acquired a U.K.-based pharmaceutical company Cerabilis plc. In the deal, Sienna acquired two patented drug candidates, which are their current lead drugs. In an interview with the Business Journal early this year, Sienna Chief Executive Dr. Frederick Beddingfield III said accelerated growth has always been the company’s plan. “Our strategy from day one was to build the company and pipeline rapidly,” said Beddingfield. “We have looked at over 140 opportunities, and this (Cerabilis) was one that we identified fairly early on as a potential game-changer.” Soon after, in April of this year, Sienna completed a series B financing that raised $40 million. According to Benjamin Kuo, editor of tech newsletter socaltech.com, it makes sense for biotech companies to go public fast when their products are still in clinical stages. “Yes, it’s riskier, but lot of firms have been doing that lately,” said Kuo. “Because it’s much harder to raise the money that they need without going public.” According to research released by Renaissance Capital, while there has been an uptick in the biotech IPOs, the jury is still out on whether the return on investment will be sound. “The quarter’s biotechs featured barbell-like returns, but skewed positive, putting the health care sector in line with the quarterly average,” the report said.

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