Rib-X postpones initial public offering after cutting price in half

Company cites 'market conditions' as reason for delay but insists that IPO plans remain open

Jeffrey Bouley
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—After an initial plan to offer shares at price of between $12 and $14 each, then slashing that in half to $6 to $7 per share, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), antibiotic developer Rib-X Pharmaceuticals Inc.  has elected to postpone its plans for an initial public offering (IPO).
 
Although the company has declined media requests for an official comment on the details of the decision, it did note through a company spokesperson that the IPO was postponed because of market condition but that the SEC filing is still active and the company is simply in a "quiet period."
 
This follows a similar move recently by fellow New England company Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., which postponed itsown $166 million IPO because of market conditions, according to IPO tracking firmRenaissance Capital.
 
Rib-X planned to use the net proceeds from the IPO to fund the estimated cost of its firstplanned Phase III clinical trial of delafloxacin; to fund ongoing research anddevelopment activities for our RX-04, RX-05 and RX-06 programs; to payscheduled principal and interest on its borrowings; and other general corporatepurposes.
 
In February, Rib-X received $3 million milestonepayment from French Big Pharma company Sanofi related to a license for the New Havencompany's RX04 antibiotics to fight so-called "superbugs."
 
Rib-X is a biopharmaceutical company developingnew antibiotics to provide "superior coverage, safety and convenience for thetreatment of serious and life-threatening infections." The company's proprietarydrug discovery platform, which is said to provide "an atomic-level, three-dimensional understanding of interactionsbetween drug candidates and their bacterial targets and enables Rib-X tosystematically engineer antibiotics with enhanced characteristics."


In late April, Rib-X appointedDr. Matthew A. Wikler, as chief development officer, a position in which he has assumed a strategic leadership role in the future clinicaldevelopment of the company's product candidates, including implementing thePhase III program for delafloxacin, which successfully completed a Phase IIbclinical trial in acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections inDecember 2011.
 
 
"With numerous drug approvals and successfulproduct launches under his belt and extensive experience in antibiotic drugdevelopment at both small and large companies, Dr. Wikler is an excellentcomplement to an already exceptional team here at Rib-X," said MarkLeuchtenberger, president and CEO of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals."We look forward to working with him as we advance delafloxacin into Phase IIIand further the development of other product candidates and programs in ourpipeline."
 
 
Wikler brings to Rib-X more than 30 years of drugdevelopment experience, primarily in the field of infectious diseases, and over the course of his career, he has played a major role in theclinical development and subsequent approval of 19 antimicrobial drugs andvaccines. Prior to joining Rib-X, he served as president and CEO of IASO Pharma Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology companyfocused on the development of antibacterial and antifungal therapeutics and, among his other accomplishments, also served at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including a stintas deputy director of the FDA's Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products.


Jeffrey Bouley

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