By Colin Kellaher

 

Akero Therapeutics Inc. on Thursday said it has secured up to $125 million in funding for the continued development of efruxifermin, its lead product candidate, including a $25 million equity investment from drug giant Pfizer Inc.

Akero, a South San Francisco, Calif., clinical-stage biotechnology company, said the funding also includes a term loan facility of up to $100 million from Hercules Capital Inc., of which it plans to draw $10 million at closing.

Akero, which is studying efruxifermin in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a chronic liver condition commonly known as NASH, said New York-based Pfizer has agreed to buy nearly 2.5 million shares at $9.90 apiece, a roughly 16% premium to Wednesday's closing price of $8.50. This would give Pfizer a stake of about 6.7%.

Akero said the funding, if it fully draws the term loan, would extend its cash runway to the third quarter of 2024, a year beyond its prior guidance.

Shares of Akero were recently up 6.6% to $9.32 in premarket trading.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 16, 2022 07:47 ET (11:47 GMT)

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