Not all infectious diseases receive the same attention. Some get sidelined as research and development biotechs focus on the most prolific diseases in society. It’s an attitude that focuses on big money and profits for some, while others look to developing countries and more obscure health issues afflicting populations without treatments or cures. AN2 Therapeutics is a biotech and pharmaceutical firm led by executives with a passion to address underserved patients with obscure or ignored health conditions. It’s an innovative startup that seeks to find answers and unlock the mysteries of ignored ailments with effective treatments and potential cures. It’s made news in business circles with its recent IPO. Whether you’re considering diversifying your investment portfolio or curious about a biotech firm that seeks to battle infectious diseases outside of the spotlight, we offer twenty things you probably didn’t know about AN2 Therapeutics.
1. AN2 is ahead of the curve
Crunchbase confirms that AN2 is a fairly new startup that is entering its fifth year of operations in 2022. The founders launched the business on January 1, 2017. The overarching goal of the firm is to provide the world with transformational medicines for underrepresented infectious diseases. It’s a modern company, established in Menlo Park, California. It is categorized into Biotechnology, Health Care, and Pharmaceutical industries.
2. AN2 has a small executive leadership team
The executive leadership team has five members listed. Joseph Zakrzewski is a founder, investor, and board member. George Talbot is a co-founder and clinical advisor to the board. Michael Alley is a co-founder and the head of biology. Sanjay Chanda is the chief development officer. Eric Easom is a co-founder, board member, president, and chief executive officer. Although the core team of executives is small, they are supported by a solid staff of directors, managers, and executives including Pauk Eckburg, chief medical officer, Kevin Krause, vice president of clinical sciences and development operations, and Vince Hernandez, vice president of chemistry. Rianna Stefanakis is director of strategic partnerships and program management, Jennifer Huber is vice president of regulatory affairs, Kieron Wesson is vice president of drug development and CM, and Stephanie Moor is the senior director of medical writing and regulatory operations. They’ve got all the bases covered.
3. AN2 has a two-member board of directors
The board of directors for AN2 has two members. Stephanie Wong is the chief financial officer for Calithera Biosciences. She joined the board of directors for AN2 in January 2022. Patricia Martin is the chief executive officer and president of BioCrossroads since July 2019. She is a former Eli Lilly executive. She joined the AN2 board of directors in January 2022.
4. AN2 started as a privately funded organization
Until recently, AN2 was a privately held company funded by private investors. Before its IPO in March 2022, AN2 secured the interest and financial backing of ten investors with two lead investors. They participated in two rounds of fundraising. The most recent was a round of Series B funding that closed on January 7, 2022, before the IPO. the total amount raised before going public was $92 million from its private investors.
5. Investor confidence in AN2 is high
AN2 secured venture-capital funds for $92 million before the company had five years of operations to its credit. This suggests that investor confidence was high. The investors made the investments with expectations of a healthy return on their funding. The startup received financial support from Avidity Partners, Monashee Investment Management, Surveyor Capital, BFV Partners, Hatteras Venture Partners, RA Capital Management, a lead investor, and Brii Biosciences. Other investors include BioRock Ventures, Adjuvant Capital, and Mountain Group Capital, also a lead investor.
6. AN2 Therapeutics had a successful Initial Public Offering
AN2 Therapeutics has only been a publicly traded entity for a few weeks as of this writing. The firm is registered with the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol ANTX. The stock opened on March 25, 2022, with its IPO at $15.00 per share of common stock. You can officially invest in AN2 Therapeutics stock on the public exchange, buy, trade, and sell.
7. AN2 Therapeutics called for a traditional IPO
Barrons reports that AN2 Therapeutics requested a traditional IPO. The founders had no desire to take the trending avenue ongoing through a SPAC. They joined the minority of companies seeking the traditional IPO, along with just 21 of the 69 companies opening with their IPOs. Many companies with intentions to go public are apprehensive with the recent war in Ukraine putting a damper on their high hopes. The number of biotechs listing for 2022 is only five. The total amount raised was $684 million versus the prior year of 16 biotechs raising $2.97 billion. The year is still young and only time will tell if the figures will level off.
8. AN2 is not yet profitable
AN2 has not been around long enough to become profitable. Despite the $80 million Series B round of venture capital fundraising and $92 raised from private investors, it’s not at the commercial marketing phase of product development. Whether it is profitable or not is not a sign of its success. Biotech companies spend several years researching and developing treatments and cures. The clinical trial stages of candidate drugs can take a few years. It’s followed by the lengthy process for the FDA’s approval. It’s a time-consuming process, but one strong candidate can turn its financials around and set the firm on a solid footing for profitability. Most investors understand this fact about biotech startups and look to future forecasts based on data.
9. AN2 Therapeutics has a candidate in the pipeline
AN2 Therapeutics is in the process of developing a candidate drug called epetraborole. It’s an oral drug taken once a day to treat nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease. If you’ve never heard of the condition, you’re not alone. It’s a disease that is rare. AN2 has secured licensing for developing the drug from Ancor Pharmaceuticals. Pfizer acquired Ancor in 2016. AN2 Therapeutics has received the all-clear to investigate the new drug application for eptraborole.
10. AN2 Therapeutics raised $69 Million at IPO
Med City News confirms that the AN2 Therapeutics Initial Public Offering raised just $69 million at the close of the day. The startup offered four million shares from $14 to $16 per share. They upped the number of available shares to 4.6 million at $15 per share at the midpoint. The opening price the next day was $16.85 per share. It reflects a 12.3 percent increase from the price at IPO per share.
11. AN2 Therapeutics is developing a boron-based antibiotic
The candidate drug under development by AN2 avails boron chemistry versus carbon molecules. The goal is to test the drug’s effectiveness in a lung infection that is rare and sometimes fatal, caused by the mycobacteria organism. The only drug in the pipeline is Epetraborole. The potential benefit of drugs based on boron chemistry is their ability to bind biological targets unaffected by carbon-based drugs. Eetraborole can block an essential enzyme in the bacteria that other antibiotics do not affect. The drug has the potential for breaking down the defenses of the antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria that has eluded treatment thus far.
12. Epetraborole is in its second phase of testing
AN2 acquired rights to advance epetraborole after Anacor worked with GlaxoSmithKline to get it to two Phase two tests. The results showed that the bacteria were not as susceptible to the drug as they had hoped, leading them to discontinue the studies. AN2 proposes a combination of therapies with Epetraborole to lessen the bacteria’s ability to resist its penetration past its defenses. The drug failed monotherapy tests but has the potential to gain efficacy in combination therapies. It’s taking a new approach.
13. AN2 plans to enhance the clinical development of its candidate
The chase secured through AN2’s IPO is set aside for the clinical development of its candidate drug. The Phase 2 part of the study involves 80 patients to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the drug when combined with other treatments, compared to a placebo control group. Plans are set for the Phase 3 test with 234 patients. AN2 Therapeutics has not yet secured approvals for the Phase 3 portion, but it’s still working with the FDA to achieve the goal.
14. We’ll know more about the success of AN2’s candidate drug in 2023
Clinical development and testing phases take time. Sometimes it’s years before they get results. Biotechs must follow strict regulations and follow established rules for testing and reporting results for approval before moving from one development phase to the next. Once a drug reaches a market, the company with rights may start receiving royalties. It will take time and further investments to get to that point. They estimate they’ll know more by the middle of 2023.
15. AN2 Therapeutics plans to develop Epetraborole for China, and Japan for various lung disorders exacerbated by mycobacteria
The target markets for Epetraborole are the Japanese market initially, then other foreign markets. It may sound as though AN2 is jumping the gun. The experts in infectious disease therapies have more knowledge than the average layperson. The failed mono tests do not indicate the drug is useless as a treatment. It shows that there is more to be done in research and development before it will be eligible for FDA approval and marketing in the United States.
16. AN2 Therapeutics is hiring
The LinkedIn page for AN2 Therapeutics shows that the company is hiring. They’ve posted three new job openings for its Menlo Park location. They’re looking for an Executive Administrator, a Vice President of Quality Assurance, and a Senior Director of Process Chemistry. The site shows that there are currently 21 employees at AN2 Therapeutics.
17. The CEO is an engineer and MBA with a passion for treating rare diseases
LinkedIn reports that Eric Easom, CEO of AN2 Therapeutics, is an engineer and business professional who is also an expert in infectious disease research and development. He earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Louisville. He earned an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business, but his career history shows work in pharmaceuticals after graduating from college. He spent the first thirteen years of his professional career at Eli Lilly, as a US Brand Manager, in corporate business development, finance, and as an engineer for manufacturing. He went on to found Hope Pharmaceuticals in July of 2003. He served as CEO, launching an initiative to create a biotech company for developing treatments that target infections and diseases and address unmet needs.
18. Easom’s career focused on Infectious disease therapies
It’s unusual for a business major and engineer to become an expert in medical research and development, but that’s what Eric Easom has done. He worked at McKesson Medical-Surgical for a year. He served with the Infectious Disease Research Institute for 7 years and 7 months as a board member, chair of the board, and senior director of business development and marketing. Eric worked at InteKrin Therapeutics directing the marketing division. He worked as an executive at MedImmune, Resilient Biotics, and Anacor Pharmaceuticals. He also served as a member of the board for The Chagas Disease Foundation, working to promote the treatment of rare diseases.
19. AN2 Therapeutics has passionate professional leaders
The AN2 website confirms that the mission of AN2 Therapeutics is to develop treatments for serious infectious diseases that are rare and chronic. They seek to serve the people who suffer from diseases previously ignored. They’re leaders in the antimicrobials field with a strong desire and a sense of obligation to address these global health needs. The co-founders combined their expertise to form the research and development company, taking on the task of finding the most effective treatments for the most elusive diseases.
20. AN2 Therapeutics is a company to keep your eye on
AN2 Therapeutics is hopeful about advancing to the second phase of testing for its leading candidate treatment that has the potential for treating more than one rare disease of the lungs. They’ve already set the wheels in motion. The goal is to market and distribute their drug once they gain FDA approval. They’re making progress in overcoming obstacles. Although it’s a long process, they’re moving forward. The company has recently gone public. If you’re considering diversifying your investment portfolio, AN2 Therapeutics is a biotech firm that may be worth watching.