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89bio files for IPO to develop liver disease therapies

San Francisco-based 89bio Inc. is looking to raise up to $70 million in an IPO of its common shares.

89bio applied to list its shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ETNB symbol.

The company is developing potential therapies to treat liver and cardio-metabolic diseases. BIO89-100, the company's lead drug candidate is intended to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, a severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

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The company plans to partly use the offering's net proceeds to complete an ongoing proof-of-concept phase 1b/2a study of BIO89-100 and to launch a phase 2b trial of the drug in patients with NASH.

Proceeds will also be used for a mid-stage study evaluating BIO89-100 in severe hypertriglyceridemia, a condition characterized by high levels of a type of body fat known as triglycerides, which is linked to an increased risk of NASH, cardiovascular events and acute pancreatitis.

The company will also use a portion of the funds raised to explore potential new indications of BIO89-100 and to manufacture the drug.

The remaining proceeds will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes.

BofA Merrill Lynch, SVB Leerink, RBC Capital Markets and Oppenheimer & Co. are serving as underwriters for the transaction.