Viela Bio is a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the development and commercialization of medicines for the treatment of severe inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. This company recently went public and it's been the subject of a great deal of attention from both investors and those with an interest in the therapies which have the potential to improve the lives of millions. To help you have a more thorough knowledge of this company, here are 20 things that you didn't know about Viela Bio.
1. Viela Bio is developing medicines for commercialization
From the standpoint of investors, this company is dedicated to the development of drugs and treatments which will have a high value in the pharmaceutical marketplace. It currently is working on the FDA approval of a drug called inebilzumab, which is the lead asset of the company. The drug has recently been accepted for review by the FDA, and preparation for commercialization upon approval is underway. This drug shows great potential for becoming a first-line treatment for persons with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.
2. This company offers hope to those with autoimmune conditions
The overarching goals of Viela Bio are to create medications that are marketable and will yield a profit for the company and its shareholders, but also, it seeks to offer solutions. People who are afflicted with severe inflammatory and autoimmune diseases suffer from pain and discomfort. The candidate drug inebilizumab shows promise for targeting the underlying pathogens for certain diseases at a molecular level to allow for precise therapies, offering better results for improvements of their conditions.
3. The products may have other uses
Viela Bio is researching the possibilities that the candidate drugs under development may have practical uses in the treatment of other severe health conditions as well. It is advancing clinical studies for its application in diseases that currently do not have highly-effective treatments available, also referred to as an unmet medical need.
4. Inebilzumab has the potential for desensitizing those highly sensitized patients for rejection in kidney transplant
Viela Bio is planning a concept study to explore the potential of the candidate drug to reduce the likelihood of rejection in kidney transplant patients. This offers the hope of a lower rate of kidney rejection. Currently, over 6 percent of individuals who are placed on a waiting list for a kidney transplant has been tested and found to be highly sensitized. This means that their antibody levels are high and there is a higher likelihood of rejection, which is a life-threatening condition.
5.Viela Bio offers hope to those with none
This company is on a mission to develop solutions for autoimmune and severe inflammatory medical conditions that currently do not have treatments. This means that people who currently have no medical options for certain rare medical conditions have hope that there will be a treatment in the near future.
6. Viela Bio offers patient advocacy resources
Viela Bio is a company that shows they care about the patients with NMOSD and other rare disorders who are awaiting approval of drugs with the potential to address grave medical concerns. The company offers resources through links to supporting charities and other agencies. They've partnered with these agencies for support to continue research and development of treatments. These include the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation providing funding for NMO Spectrum Disorder, The Sumaira Foundation for NMO, which accomplishes fundraising to help find a cure and offer support for patients and caregivers, The Transverse Myelitis Association supporting individuals with rare immune diagnoses, along with their families, and several other organizations with similar missions.
7. Viela Bio is an Astra-Zeneca spin-off
Viela Bio is a new company formed after departing from the Medimmune division of AstraZeneca. This departure took place in 2017. Viela is based out of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and is led by its CEO and Chairman Zhengbin Yao. He has extensive prior experience in the industry.
8. Viela went public
Viela Bio filed for its initial public offering to sell common stock in a fundraising effort to raise $150 million. The terms of the IPO were set for the sale of 7.5 million shares of common stock with a price range of $19 to $21 per share. The top range under these terms would raise $157.5 million. The funding is designated for the funding of clinical trials as well as for working capital, and general purposes in the running of the operation. Viela is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol VIE.
9. Viela Bio has made big progress recently
Viela Bio has completed the third phase in its trials of the leading candidate drug inebilzumab. This is the kind of progress the company is making in finding the most appropriate treatment for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that currently have no other effective treatments. The outlook for profitability for investors is heightened as well as the hope of help for those suffering from rare conditions classified under these categories.
10. The firm is working on multiple solutions at the clinical stage
Inebilzumab is not the only drug that Viela Bio has in its pipeline of treatment candidates for autoimmune diseases that are life-threatening, progressive or rare. It's the most advanced candidate so far, but there are others. The second candidate in the pipeline is the product VIB4920 which shows promise for blocking molecules that lead to inflammation in some diseases, and for lessening the chance of kidney transplant rejection. A third product named VIB7734 is another potential treatment for autoimmune disease and both are in their first phase of clinical studies
11. There are two more preclinical drugs in the pipeline
Viela bio is working on an additional two potential treatment solutions which have not yet reached the clinical stage of development. The first is VIB1116. They are currently conducting toxicology studies and are nearing the phase for submitting paperwork to the FDA for the investigation of a new drug toward the latter part of 2020. The second potential candidate is a mAb cytokine fusion protein with the potential for inhibiting inflammatory responses.
12. Viela Bio provides educational resources
Viela Bio is a unique biopharmaceutical company that goes the extra mile to disseminate information about the mission and overarching goals of the company. Those who are eyeing the firm as potential inclusion in stock portfolios for investment purposes have a clear strategic plan available to assess the firm's goals, what has been done so far, and projections for the near future. They're close to reaching FDA approval and this is valuable information, but those who want to know more particulars about how the new solutions address the problems of autoimmune and inflammatory disease are given pertinent information about the complexities, laid out in lay terms that are easy to understand. Viela Bio offers educational materials for those who are interested in following the research, to better understand how the drugs that they are currently working on may be beneficial to real people in the near future.
13. Viela Bio's BLA doe has been accepted by the FDA
A very important step in getting approval for the commercialization of any new drug is to submit what is called a Biologics License Application, also known as a BLA, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA accepted the BLA for an official review of inebilzumab. The intention of the drug is to use it in the treatment of NMOSD, an autoimmune disease that can lead to paralysis and irreversible blindness. Viela will work closely with the FDA to secure approval of the drug. Acceptance o the BLA was announced near the end of August 2019.
14. Viela's study for the lead candidate involved 231 patients
Viela Bio conducted a study of the impacts of inebilizumab in patients with a key biomarker for NMOSD. Some of the patients had the marker and some did not. Since NMOSD manifests in sudden and unpredictable attacks, the goal was to assess the effectiveness in preventing attacks from manifesting. Some patients were given a placebo and some were given Inebilizumab. Participants in the study were assessed after 28 weeks of treatment. It was discovered that the risk of having an NMOSD attack was reduced by 77 percent in comparison to the placebo study.
15. Viela hasn't been in operation long
Viela Bio is a pharmaceutical startup company that began in February of 2018. It was established as a part of the Medimmune biotech company owned by AstraZeneca. To launch the new startup company investors raised $282 million in funding. the funding round was led by 8 Dimensions Capital, Hillhouse Capital, and Boyu Capital, along with Sirona Capital and Temasek. Within just 16 months after Viela Bio began its operations, investors began to swarm, eager to get in on the ground floor of the new company.
16. It's estimated that the FDA will approve the lead asset in 6 months
One of the biggest questions in the minds of investors as well as patients is when the new drug will be available for distribution and use. On average, the process for FDA approval takes approximately six months from beginning through completion. It's a process, but it is estimated that the drug may be available for patient use sometime in the year 2020. This gives investors hope of a nice return on their investments and it gives patients the hope that the potential life-threatening illnesses they've been living with may now have a solution.
17. The series B round raised $75 million
Viela Bio completed a round of Series B funding that brought in an additional $75 million. This brought the total amount raised to $350 million. This shows tht investors have a great deal of confidence in the company as they see the potential for high returns on their investment, so there are a lot of firms as well as individuals who want to get in on the action by making investments in the continued growth adn development of the company, its research, and development of new drugs.
18. Inebilizumab is a potential treatment for blood cancers
In addition to treating autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, the new candidate drug being reviewed by the FDA is also a potential treatment for blood cancers. Clinical trials are also investigating its potential for treating this type of disease as well. The continued investigation of the full benefits and spectrum of diseases this drug may treat is yet unknown, but there is a suspicion that it will also have other uses than those previously mentioned. The additional funding received recently will in part go towards the investigation of new indications not previously mentioned with inebilizumab. This fact was stated by COE Bing Yao.
19. The world is waiting and watching Viela Bio
Viela Bio is an important company for some individuals right now. Healthcare providers and patients are anxiously awaiting the official launch of the commercialized version of inebilizumab. It is the only company in the world with the rights to this particular candidate drug, and those who suffer from untreatable medical conditions are hoping that the drug is approved in time to successfully treat their conditions before time runs out. For some, it will be too late, but for others, there is still hope.
20. Viela Bio is a company to keep your eye on
Investors who are considering expanding their portfolios should keep an eye on Viela Bio. Having just recently gone public in 2019, common shares have been riding at a price which indicates that they're still in a buyer's market. Those who wish to get in on the ground floor of the company may still buy common stock in the firm. Commercialization of their first drug/treatment is expected to commence at some time in 2020 and we'll no doubt see significant changes in company valuation and stock shares.
Written by Garrett Parker
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