San Diego-based Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. has proposed an initial public offering planning to raise as much as $69 million, according to the firm’s registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Conatus is developing drugs to treat chronic liver disease. Its lead drug, called Emricasan, is an oral drug that reduces the rate of liver inflammation and cell death.

Conatus was founded in 2005 by the executives of San Diego-based Idun Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2005, after Idun was sold to Pfizer Inc. for a reported $200 million. It purchased an Idun subsidiary from Pfizer and acquired the rights to Emricasan in 2010.

Stifel and Piper Jaffray & Co. are acting as joint book-running managers for the Conatus offering. JMP Securities LLC and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc. are acting as co-lead managers.

— SDBJ Staff Report