Eliem Therapeutics files for IPO as another Seattle-area biotech firm set to go public

Bob Azelby. (Eliem Photo)

Eliem Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotech company generating therapies for pain, depression and other nervous-system related conditions, has filed to go public via an IPO.

The company’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission comes on the heels of two rounds of private funding already this year tallying $140 million, including a $60 million Series B round in May.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company was founded in 2019 and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol ELYM. It aims to raise up to $80 million with the IPO.

Eliem has two lead drug candidates in development: ETX-810 for chronic pain conditions and ETX-155 for mood disorders and epilepsy. ETX-810 is currently in phase 2a trials for diabetic neuropathic pain and sciatica.

The startup is led by former Juno Therapeutics exec Bob Azelby, who is Eliem’s CEO. He was previously president and CEO of Seattle biotech firm Alder BioPharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Lundbeck for $1.95 billion in 2019. Azelby was also chief commercial officer at Seattle-based Juno, which was acquired by Celgene for $9 billion in 2018.

Another Alder vet at the team is COO and CFO Erin M. Lavelle, who was previously COO at Alder.

The company’s founders include Andrew Levin, managing director at RA Capital Management and chairman at Eliem, and Valerie Morisset, chief scientific officer who was previously an exec at Convergence Pharmaceuticals.

Eliem’s public offering comes as biotech IPOs are reaching all-time highs nationally and overall startup activity in Seattle booms.

Two others Washington state biotech companies, Absci and Icosavax, have also recently filed to go public, building on IPOs earlier this year from Sana Biotechnology, Impel Neuropharma and Lyell Immunopharma, which is based in South San Francisco and the Seattle area.

In June, Seattle-based Nautilus Biotechnology, led by Isilon Systems co-founder Sujal Patel, went public via a SPAC merger.

Other Seattle-area startups that have gone public this year include billing and payment company Paymentus. Mobile remittance company Remitly has also filed initial IPO paperwork, while pet-setting startup Rover is expected to go public soon via a SPAC deal.

Eliem’s tech

(Via SEC filing)

Elieum’s ETX-810 program builds on previous clinical studies, by other groups, of a compound called PEA. PEA is a lipid-based molecule normally found in the body and has been assessed as a treatment for pain in earlier trials as a dietary supplement. ETX-810 is designed to improve the body’s absorption of and exposure to PEA, which may bump up its effectiveness.

ETX-155 is a compound that affects the actions of the neurotransmitter GABAA, a molecule that relays messages between neurons. The company is planning to initiate phase 2A trials for this compound in patients with major depressive disorder and perimenopausal depression, and a phase 1b trial in patients with a form of epilepsy, photosensitive epilepsy.

Eliem is also developing a preclinical stage compound for pain and epilepsy, and another for anxiety.

The company was launched through the startup incubator of Boston-based RA Capital, part of an effort by the investment firm to build biotechs at early stages and increase its ownership, according to Business Insider. ETX-810 was developed within the incubator, and ETX-155 was initially developed by biotech startup Athenen Therapeutics, which merged with Eliem.

Entities associated with RA Capital own about 52% of Eliem’s shares. Previous Eliem backers include Intermediate Capital Group, which led the Series B round, as well as Access Biotechnology, Samlyn Capital, Acorn Bioventures and LifeArc.

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Health/life sciences Startups Bob azelby Eliem Erin lavelle Ipo Valerie morisset