Cancer therapeutics firm BeyondSpring aims to raise $54.31 million gross from its IPO of 174,286 ordinary shares priced at $20.00 per share and concurrent private placement of another 2,541,048 ordinary shares, also priced at $20.00 per share. The ordinary shares sold in the public offering are expected to start trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market on March 9, 2017 under the ticker symbol BYSI.

BeyondSpring is developing a pipeline of anticancer drugs, headed by the late-clinical-stage candidate plinabulin, a synthetic analog of a marine microbial compound that is designed to target and alter the tumor microenvironent. Plinabulin is undergoing an international Phase III trial as combination therapy with docetaxel for the second-line treatment of advanced metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A registrational Phase II/III plinabulin study is also under way for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in solid tumor patients who have previously been treated with docetaxel. A Phase Ib/II study evaluating plinabulin plus nivolumab for the NSCLC indication enrolled its first patient in September 2016. Clinical trials are also being planned to evaluate plinabulin against metastatic brain tumors and against KRAS-positive cancers.

BeyondSpring has previously reported that plinabulin works via multiple mechanisms to alter the tumor environment. These include inducing dendritic cell maturation to amplify the immune response, activating the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway to induce tumor cell apoptosis, and destroying tumor vasculature by inhibiting tubulin polymerization.

The BeyondSpring preclinical pipeline includes BPI-002, an oral small-molecule T-cell activator, and BPI-003, an oral small-molecule IκB kinase (IKK) inhibitor. The firm has a license agreement with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and University of Washington relating to the latter's platform technology for inhibiting multiple oncogenes and previously undruggable targets using small molecules.

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