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Insomnia drug developer Cennerv lodges preliminary documents for Catalist IPO

SINGAPORE-based biotech Cennerv Pharmaceuticals, a developer of drugs to treat central nervous system (CNS) disorders, lodged a preliminary prospectus on Wednesday for a planned initial public offering (IPO) on the Singapore Exchange's Catalist board.

Details of the pricing, amount to be raised and timing of the offering have not yet been announced. PrimePartners Corporate Finance is the sponsor, issue manager and placement agent for the IPO.

Cennerv specialises in treatments for CNS disorders and mental health, including insomnia, dementia, schizophrenia and autism. Its two lead products are currently Phase 2 candidates, one to treat insomnia and the other to regulate mood, cognition and behaviour. Its other three main drug products are in the pre-clinical phase.

So far, Cennerv has focused on developing its five main products and has yet to monetise any of them. As a result, it has not generated any revenue over the past three financial years and in the first quarter of 2018. It reported losses of between S$1.6 million to S$1.7 million for FY2015 to FY2017, and a loss of S$465,690 for Q1 2018. The company expects research and development expenses to increase in 2018, while listing-related costs will increase operating expenses.

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Its future plans include developing and monetising its key drug products, identifying additional applications for its current products, acquiring more drug products, and expanding its business through means including investments, acquisitions and joint ventures.

The proceeds of the all-placement offering will be used to initiate clinical development of its two lead drug products, prepare for Investigational New Drug applications for its other three drug candidates, and acquire a 60 per cent stake in Gemeni Therapeutics, a US-based developer of non-CNS drugs. It will also use some of the funds for working capital.

Cennerv chairman Anil Kumar Ratty is also the company's largest shareholder. Dr Ratty has agreed to an 18-month moratorium during which he will not sell any of his shares.