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Glaxo-Tied Convergence Pain-Drug Maker Considers IPO

Convergence Pharmaceuticals, a former unit of GlaxoSmithKline Plc that specializes in pain drugs, is considering an initial public offering to raise at least 50 million pounds ($85 million).

Convergence will decide whether to list stock in the U.K. and possibly in the U.S. later this year, Chief Executive Officer Clive Dix said in a telephone interview today. The Cambridge, England-based company announced positive data from a mid-stage trial for a treatment targeting a severe form of facial pain today and plans to begin a late-stage trial early next year.

The drugmaker was formed in 2010 with scientists from Glaxo leading its research, and the London-based company holds an 18 percent stake. Convergence uses genotyping to target pain disorders that affect specific patient groups, instead of the traditional approach of developing widely used drugs for broadly defined chronic pain, Dix said.

“We’re being much more selective at choosing pain states that are severe and untreated, rather than doing the broad-brush strokes against all pain states,” Dix said.

The company’s most advanced product, CNV1014802, has received orphan-drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat trigeminal neuralgia, a form of facial pain experienced in short bursts or attacks affecting about 50,000 people in the U.S.

The medicine has the potential to treat other related pain disorders characterized by short bursts, Dix said.

Convergence is free to work with any pharmaceutical and specialty company, even with Glaxo’s stake. For orphan drugs, the company could potentially market them without a partner, he said.

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