Opthea raises $13.3m through exercise of options

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Opthea (ASX:OPT), a late stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel biologic therapies to treat eye diseases, has announced that proceeds of $13.3 million have been generated through the exercise of quoted options issued in November 2014.

The options, issued to investors who participated in the company’s 2014 capital raising of $17.4 million on the basis of one for every two shares purchased, were exercisable at $0.27 by 25 November 2018.

A total of 49,429,099 options were exercised by the expiry date, representing 99.4 per cent of the total number of options issued and generating proceeds in excess of $13.3 million.

Dr Megan Baldwin, CEO and managing director, said “We are pleased to have delivered significant shareholder value since the 2014 capital raising which is reflected in the impressive number of options that were exercised by the expiry date.

"We are thankful for the support of our shareholders, many of whom participated in the 2014 capital raising and saw the potential of OPT-302 as a promising new therapy for retinal eye diseases. Since that time we have continued to advance Opthea’s clinical program and have demonstrated a favourable safety profile and encouraging evidence of clinical activity of OPT-302 in both wet AMD and DME patients.”

The completion of the option exercise follows the receipt of a $12 million research and development (R&D) tax credit from the Australian Taxation Office for R&D in 2017-18.

The company said the option proceeds and R&D tax credit strengthen its cash position to over $37 million with the randomised controlled Phase 2 studies in wet AMD and DME anticipated to report results before the end of 2019.