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KemPharm seeks $58m via IPO

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

KemPharm, which is developing an abuse-deterrent version of Vicodin, is aiming to rise up to $58m in an initial public offering. The company, founded in 2006, plans to list on Nasdaq under the symbol KMPH. KemPharm has created several compounds with its Ligand Activated Therapy (LAT) prodrug platform. Its lead drug candidate KP201 – which is made up of hydrocodone chemically bound to a ligand (benzhydrocodone hydrochloride) and acetaminophen – is currently in Phase III trials for acute pain. The Phase III studies are designed to show a reduced risk of drug abuse and lower incidence of opioid-induced constipation. The prodrug has a different metabolic pathway that releases hydrocodone when the drug comes into contact with enzymes in the small intestine. Patients can't get high from snorting or injecting KP201, as it is only active in the gut. Sagient Research's BioMedTracker estimates that KP201 could gain approval in the US in the second half of 2016.

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