Significant news for Australian company Actinogen Medical (ASX:ACW) with a $15 million capital raise and positive results from an interim analysis of results of a phase 2 clinical of its investigational treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
The $15 million placement has been strongly backed by institutional investors, with US-based Biotechnology Value Fund (BVF) partnering with a group of affiliates to take a $10.5 million position in the company. Other investors include Platinum Investment Management Limited and Australian Ethical Investment.
In a statement, Actinogen said the strong support from institutional investors "further validates" its development of Xanamem as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions presenting with cognitive impairment.
It said the funds will be used for a range of activities designed to progress the development and commercialisation of Xanamem, including a study exploring a higher dose in Alzheimer’s disease and other studies conducted in additional clinical indications.
Further expanding the development of Xanamem has the potential to support discussions with prospective business development partners, said the company.
Actinogen also announced a positive outcome from an interim analysis of the phase 2 clinical trial XanADu with the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) recommending it continue without modification.
A total of 100 patients have been enrolled in the trial. Enrolment is expected to be complete later this year with top-line results available in the first half of 2019.
According to CEO Dr Bill Ketelbey, “We are delighted to welcome BVF as a major institutional investor in Actinogen and our largest shareholder.
"The contribution this investment will make to the consolidation of Actinogen’s exciting development pipeline is significant, and it represents further positive endorsement of our progress made to date with Xanamem.
"It is important that the Company continues to expand the potential clinical applications of Xanamem while rapidly advancing our existing Alzheimer’s disease development plan. The BVF investment will underpin both these important arms of the Company’s strategy.”
“While any investment in a disease as prevalent and debilitating as Alzheimer's disease is high risk, we believe that Xanamem, if successful, offers the extraordinary promise of improving the lives of millions of people worldwide," said Mark Lampert, founder and general partner of BVF.
"We are impressed by the calibre and dedication of the Company's management team, board and scientific advisors. Our investment in Actinogen follows on from a number of rewarding investments in Australia over the past decade. We feel privileged to play a significant role in supporting the company."