Drug Developer Jaguar Raises Millions in IPO

Coming soon may be Canalevia, a treatment for canine diarrhea.

Jaguar Animal Health hopes to receive conditional approval of Canalevia in early 2016 for use in dogs suffering from chemotherapy-induced diarrhea.

Cioli/I-5 Studio

Jaguar Animal Health Inc. launched an initial public offering Wednesday with the intention of generating millions of dollars to fund clinical studies of proposed gastrointestinal drugs for pets and livestock.

The young San Francisco company sold 2.86 million shares of common stock at $7 each. The first day of trading on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol JAGX ended with the stock down slightly, to $6.78.

Jaguar expects to spend some of the $15.1 million in net proceeds on studying and winning regulatory approval of Canalevia, a drug formulated to fight chemotherapy-induced diarrhea and watery diarrhea in dogs, the company stated in its prospectus.

Money also is earmarked for the development of species-specific formulations of crofelemer to treat watery diarrhea in cats, acute colitis in horses, and gastric and colonic ulcers in horses. Crofelemer, an antidiarrheal isolated from the Croton lechleri tree, is used in Canalevia.

Farther down the product pipeline are prescription drugs to treat feline herpes virus, obesity-related metabolic dysfunction in dogs, metabolic syndrome in horses and Type II diabetes in cats.

The company’s has one product on the market: the over-the-counter medication Neonorm Calf, a treatment for watery diarrhea, or scours, in preweaned dairy calves. Jaguar is looking at possible formulations of Neonorm for horses.

Jaguar is led by founder and CEO Lisa Conte, MS, MBA. Also on the leadership team is chief veterinarian and clinical operations chief Michael Hauser, MS, DVM.

Parent company Napo Pharmaceuticals Inc. uses crofelemer in Fulyzaq, an FDA-approved treatment for diarrhea in HIV/AIDS patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy.

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