Flex Pharma S-1 Analysis

Flex Pharma Basic Info

Exchange: NASDAQ

Proposed Symbol: FLKS

State of Inc: DE

Employees: 15

CEO: Christoph Westphal

IPO Date: 1/29/15

Price Range: $12-14

Shares offered: 4.615 mm

Offer Amount: $74.31 mm

Description from S-1: “We are a biotechnology company that is developing innovative and proprietary treatments for nocturnal leg cramps and spasms associated with severe neuromuscular conditions. Novel insights regarding neuromuscular physiology from our co-founders form the basis of our development efforts. We believe that activation of certain receptors in primary sensory neurons reduces the repetitive firing, or hyperexcitability, of alpha-motor neurons, thereby preventing or reducing the frequency and intensity of muscle cramps and spasms. We also believe that we are the only company developing products based on this mechanism of muscle cramp and spasm inhibition. We have conducted three randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over studies of our proprietary treatment, which have shown a statistically significant reduction in the intensity of muscle cramps induced in healthy normal volunteers. We intend to initially focus our drug development efforts on developing a product to treat nocturnal leg cramps. There is no drug product currently available in the United States that has been approved to treat nocturnal leg cramps.”

From the S-1


  • Lead Underwriters: Jeffries, JMP Securities, Piper Jaffray, Roth Capital Partners and Cantor Fitzgerald.

2014 Sales: Pre-Revenue

Total Assets: $36.77 mm

Competitors: Xenoport, GlaxoSmithKline, and GW Pharma

Other Notes

  • Based in Boston, MA
  • Flex Pharma develops an early-stage therapy that treats nocturnal leg cramps and spasms associated with severe neuromuscular conditions (ex. multiple sclerosis)
  • Their drug qualifies as a dietary supplement, and Flex believes it can go through trials without going through the FDA’s IND (Investigational New Drug) application.
  • Flex was founded less than a year ago, in Februrary 2014
  • Raised $40 mm in venture capital from investors such as John Sculley, Apple’s former CEO, John Maraganore, the CEO of Alnylam (ALNY), and the Longwood Fund, owned by Westphal.
  • Westphal has previously sold one of his companies, Sirtris Pharma, to GSK in 2008 for $720 mm, and took another company, Verastem (VSTM), public in 2012.
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