Azitra, a Connecticut-based biopharma focused on treating skin ailments, announced the closing of its initial public offering with stock trading initially at $5 per share, which the company anticipates will bring in proceeds of $7.5 million.
The company intends to use the net IPO proceeds for clinical trials and product development, R&D, clinical manufacturing — as well as for working capital and other general corporate purposes.
Back in October 2020, Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of Bayer AG, lead Azitra's $17 million Series B financing round with an $8 million investment. The partnership is leveraging Azitra’s technology platform to develop skin products using engineered and wild-type bacteria for biotherapeutic, OTC and cosmetic applications.
Azitra has built a proprietary platform that includes a microbial library comprised of approximately 1,500 unique bacterial strains that can be screened for unique therapeutic characteristics. The platform is augmented by AI and machine learning technology that analyzes, predicts and helps screen the company's library of strains for drug-like molecules.
The Bayer collab is still in preclinical stages. According to Azitra, after screening through hundreds of strains, the partners have selected two particular S. epidermidis strains for topical formulations and are moving forward with in vitro and ex vivo characterization.
The company's most advanced pipeline treatment, ATR-12, is in phase 1 trials for the treatment of Netherton syndrome, a rare, chronic genetic skin disease that can be life threatening. The treatment was granted a Rare Pediatric Disease Designation by the FDA in 2020.