Ambit Biosciences planning IPO

Ambit Biosciences recently announced plans to raise approximately $86 million in an initial public offering formulated to support the late-stage development of the acute myeloid leukemia drug quizartinib.

In 2010, Ambit attempted to go public and failed, withdrawing its $86 million IPO and turning to venture capital instead. The company managed to raise $30 million in funds and last fall raised another $25 million from a $50 million pledge by Orbimed, Aisling Capital, Apposite Healthcare, GIMV, MedImmune and others, according to

In the S-1 it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Ambit said that quizartinib, an FLT3 inhibitor, is in Phase IIb trials. The company is planning to launch a Phase III trial for AML before the end of the year with its partner Astellas. Two preclinical therapies, AC708 and AC855 are currently being studied for oncology, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

The biotech also said that a portion of its backers have already agreed to buy shares in the IPO, which should offer a measure of price support, according to

Citigroup and Leerink Swann are the joint bookrunners of the offering. Ambit intends to list the company on the NASDAQ under the symbol "AMBT." For the end of 2012, the company posted a net loss attributable to $26.65 million.