KemPharm sets IPO price for up to $56M

Iowa's KemPharm, maker of abuse-resistant versions of painkillers, has set its price range for a possible IPO, seeking up to $56 million at $12 to $14 a share.

KemPharm's leading candidate is a hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination similar to the painkiller Vicodin, but the company's formulation incorporates ligand benzoic acid, which is designed to prevent abuse often associated with painkillers. The ingredient hinders the release of hydrocodone until it is metabolized in the gastrointestinal tract when taken orally, according to the company. The active ingredient is thus not released upon crushing the pill and its poor solubility also doesn't allow for effective intravenous dosing.

KemPharm is still in clinical trials with the candidate, KP201/APAP and plans to file a new drug application with the FDA in the second half of this year. With the funds raised from the IPO, filed with the SEC last month, the company expects to move forward with further clinical trials for KP201/APAP and others in its pipeline.

KemPharm plans to make its offer on the Nasdaq under the symbol "KMPH," though it hasn't yet set a date.

According to an article in The Des Moines Register, KemPharm got its start in 2006 operating out of Coralville, IA, with offices in Blacksburg, VA, and Celebration, FL.

Back in June last year, KemPharm struck a deal with Deerfield for $60 million in financing to help move its abuse-deterrent painkillers through the clinical trial process.

- here's the Des Moines Register story
- and here's the S-1 from March