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Tampa biopharma plans public offering

Margie Manning



Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Alzamend Neuro, a Tampa biopharmaceutical firm focused on developing products to treat neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders, could become the area’s next publicly traded company.

Alzamend submitted a draft registration statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. A public offering, subject to market conditions, is expected to follow a review by the SEC, according to a news release from DPW Holdings Inc., an investor in Alzamend.

The SEC filing did not indicate how much money Alzamend might raise in a public offering or how the funds would be used.

Alzamend was formed in February 2016 and is headquartered at University of South Florida’s Research and Innovation Park on the Tampa campus. Alzamend also has operations in Orange County, California.

Alzamend has a licensing agreement with University of South Florida Research Foundation for its lead product candidate — a patented technology expected to offer major improvements over current treatments for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders.

Alzamend has begun the process of finalizing an investigational new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and expects to receive approval to begin a Phase 1 clinical study with human subjects in the first quarter of 2021, the SEC filing said.

The company has an additional preclinical candidate for Alzheimer’s treatment, and plans to file an investigational new drug application with the FDA in the first quarter of 2021 and prepare to conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial in the second quarter of the year, the SEC filing said.

Like nearly all startup biopharma firms, the company has posted financial losses so far. For the six months ended Oct. 31, Alzamend spent $783,759 on research and development and had a net loss of $2.67 million. DPW provided $1 million in short-term advances earlier this month, the SEC filing said.

The company named Stephan Jackman as chief executive officer in November 2018. Before joining Alzamend, Jackman was chief operating officer of Ennaid Therapeutics, an emerging biopharmaceutical focusing on cures for mosquito-borne infectious diseases, such as Zika and Dengue viruses. A month later, Kenneth Cragun was named chief financial officer.

Alzamend would join at least three other Tampa-St. Petersburg area firms that recently have gone public or plan a public offering.

BRP Group (Nasdaq: BRP), a Tampa insurance distribution firm, completed an initial public offering in October 2019. Digital Media Solutions (NYSE: DMS), a technology and digital performance marketing solutions company in Clearwater, became a public company in July through a merger with Leo Holdings, a blank check company established specifically to acquire another firm. In October, SCP & CO, a private investment firm in Tampa, formed its own blank check company, SCP & CO Healthcare Acquisition Company and said it planned to raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering.

Two other local public companies went private during 2020 —  Clearwater-based IT distributor Tech Data, and Tampa-based health insurance technology firm Benefytt Technologies.

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