Dova Pharmaceuticals, a Durham-based biotechnology startup, has filed to raise nearly $75 million in an initial public offering, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday.

Dova Pharmaceuticals Inc. hopes to use the money from the IPO to fund trials and the approval of its first drug.

The Form S-1 did not list a proposed stock price range for the company. Dova’s stock, if the IPO is successful, would trade on the Nasdaq using the ticker DOVA.

The company was formed in March 2016 and has produced no revenue. It posted a loss of $27.2 million in 2016 and a loss of $5.4 million in the first three months of 2017.

Dova Pharmaceuticals, which has just four employees, is developing treatments for patients suffering from orphan diseases. As of March 31, it had $26.6 million in cash.

The company’s lead investigational drug, avatrombopag, is in the process of completing two Phase 3 clinical trials researching its use as a potential treatment for thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease.

The drug has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or other regulatory authorities for any use. The company said in the filing it plans to file a new drug application in the third quarter of this year.

If the company is successful in obtaining FDA approval for avatrombopag, it owes Astellas royalty fees based on the drug’s sales.

The CEO of the company is Alex Sapir, who joined the company in January. His base salary is $400,000.

Exec bio: Alex Sapir

Alex Sapir, a 20-year marketing veteran of the pharmaceutical industry, is currently the President and CEO of Dova Pharmacueticals. Prior to joining Dova, Alex was the Executive Vice President for Marketing and Sales at United Therapeutics. Under Alex’s leadership, the company grew from a one-product company generating $100 million in annual revenue to a five-product company generating $1.6 billion annually.

Prior to working at United Therapeutics, Alex held commercial positions of increasing responsibility at GSK and other smaller healthcare companies. In 2005, Alex took a one-year sabbatical and became an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland where he taught marketing strategy to both undergraduate and MBA students.

Alex received his BA in Economics from Franklin and Marshall College (’88) and his MBA from Harvard Business School (’97) where he concentrated in Finance and Strategy. While at Harvard, Alex authored the HBS case study entitled “Bausch and Lomb: Pressure to Perform” that is still being taught at leading business schools around the country.

Sources: LinkedIn, Dova

PBM Capital is the company’s largest investor, with 5.3 million shares, or 84.8 percent of the outstanding stock. Sapir owns 277,000 shares, or 4.3 percent.

Underwriters for the offering are J.P. Morgan LLC, Jefferies LLC and Leerink Partners LLC.

The company’s website lists a Charlottesville, Virginia, mailing address, but the SEC filing for the IPO lists an address in Durham used by other startup companies.

Read the SEC filing at:

Note: This story is from the North Carolina Business News, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism and includes additional content from WRAL TechWire.