SANTA ROSA -- Ruthigen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petaluma-based Oculus Innovative Sciences, has filed for an initial public offering of stock in the hopes of raising up to $26.7 million to fund development of its flagship drug designed to prevent infection after surgery.
The company, which was spun off from Oculus (Nasdaq: OCLS) earlier this year, would be traded on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol "RTGN," according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
It's not yet clear how many shares Ruthigen (707-525-9900, ruthigen.com) would offer or at what price, or the target timing of the IPO. The prospectus, filed on Aug. 8, only says that Oculuus, as the parent company, currently holds 5 million shares of common stock for total ownership of its subsidiary and will continue hold at least that many shares.
Ruthigen is pinning its hopes on the drug RUT58-60, for which it plans to initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in the U.S in the fourth quarter of this year. Pending completion of that trial, Ruthigen plans to submit the drug for Food and Drug Administration approval in early 2017, according to the filing.
The drug has shown promise in the way it can treat infections specifically related to organ exposure after surgery, according to the company. Initially, Ruthigen would target abdominal surgeries "due to the large addressable market" and the "high rate of post-surgical infection associated with abdominal surgery," the filing said. Ruthigen said it has received feedback from surgeons who said post-surgical infection in abdominal surgery, compared to other surgeries, is "a significant unmet medical need."
Ruthigen estimates there are about 30 million surgical and trauma procedures in the U.S. per year, of which about 7 million are abdominal surgeries.
"If we are successful in receiving FDA approval for RUT58-60 for the prevention of infection in abdominal surgery, we plan to pursue other types of surgeries, including cardiac, pulmonary and spinal, among others," the filing states.
Aegis Capital is the underwriter for the IPO.
Hojabr Alimi is Ruthigen's chairman, chief executive and chief science officer. Sameer Harish is itss chief financial officer.
Mr. Alimi was previously CEO of Oculus before it spun off Ruthigen at the beginning of this year and remains board chairman of Oculus.