November 21, 2023
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Sienna stock soars after $65 million IPO


Westlake Village biotechnology company Sienna Biopharmaceuticals closed with a big gain after it raised $65 million in its initial public offering July 27.

Sienna priced the 4.33 million shares it offered at $15. Shares had reached $21 around noon before ending at $19.25, a 28.3 percent premium on its opening price.

The company operates in the dermatology sector and hopes to offer “very safe, targeted topical therapies,” moving away from systemic therapies to reduce side effects for patients, CEO Frederick Beddingfield told the Business Times.

“That’s an area where we really see a gap in the space,” he said, adding that they hope to strike “that right risk-benefit balance. By being able to treat the skin locally where the problem is without those other systemic problems, that allows us to solve that gap.”

Sienna has five clinical trials in progress for products to treat things like acne, psoriasis and other inflammatory skin diseases. Funds will help get them through “significant data points” on their trial therapies, Beddingfield said, with pivotal trial data expected in the second half of 2018 and a product on the market a year later.

“We’re excited with this IPO to now begin to fund these five clinical stage programs,” he said. “That’s a lot for any company to run at one time and why they decided to bring it into the public space.”

The team includes members from some of the veteran biotech companies in the region, including Amgen, Kythera and Allergan, but as the space sees more merger and acquisition activity, a smaller company will be better able to focus on the dermatology sector, he said.

“The guiding principle of the company has been to move with insane urgency. We have no intention of backing off now … You can’t imagine this process until you get into it, but it’s been exciting and fun and a good return for our shareholders. And eventually it will help us get good products out there to patients.”

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