Civitas Therapeutics plans to go public after coming back from the dead

Civitas Therapeutics is developing a drug for Parkinson’s disease that can be taken through an inhaler. (JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF)
Civitas Therapeutics is developing a drug for Parkinson’s disease that can be taken through an inhaler. (JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF)

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Biotech IPO

In 2012, Scott Kirsner traced the winding origins of Chelsea company Civitas Therapeutics—a firm that seemingly breathed its last in 2008 after more than a decade of working on a way to deliver a broader range of drugs through an inhaler.

After being abruptly shut down by financing partner Eli Lilly and Co., the project—previously Alkermes-owned Advanced Inhalation Research—was reborn as Civitas in 2011 and has largely picked up where it left off. Currently, the company is focused on delivering drugs for Parkinson’s disease through inhalation.

This week, the company raised $55 million in Series C funding and then filed its paperwork for an initial public offering of stock, which could raise about $86 million for the company’s drug development and commercialization. Civitas’ lead candidate has completed a Phase 2b clinical trial and is expected to begin a Phase 3 trial by early 2015.

Investors in the company include Longitude Capital Partners (20 percent of shares), Canaan Partners (19 percent of shares), and Alkermes (7 percent of shares). The company has raised $113 million since 2011.

Massachusetts has had 14 life sciences IPOs so far this year, including 13 in biotech (read more: Boston’s innovation IPOs of 2014).

Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
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