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Cold sore prevention biotech Squarex withdraws $15 million IPO

May 19, 2023

Squarex Pharmaceutical, a Phase 2 biotech developing a topical therapy for cold sores, withdrew its plans for an initial public offering on Friday. It originally filed in January 2023 with a proposed deal size of $15 million.

Squarex's primary candidate, SQX770, was able to cut the number of cold sore outbreaks by 2.6-fold in the period from 42 to 120 days after a single topical dose on the arm in its Phase 2 trial, but failed to meet the planned primary endpoint. It has since completed an End-of-Phase 2 meeting with the FDA where it was established that two new toxicology studies in nonhuman animals, a two-dose bridging Phase 2 study, and two Phase 3 trials with about 900 patients would be required before reaching approval.

The Saint Paul, MN-based company was founded in 2012 and had planned to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol SQRX. Spartan Capital Securities was set to be the sole bookrunner on the deal.