Mesoblast completes capital raise to support scale-up manufacturing

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Australian cell-therapy company Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) says it has successfully completed a $138 million capital raise via a placement of 43 million shares to existing and new institutional investors at a price of $3.20 per share. 

The company said a significant portion of the net proceeds will be used to scale-up manufacturing of its lead product candidate remestemcel-L for the treatment of critically ill patients suffering diseases caused by cytokine release syndromes associated with high mortality, particularly COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The company recently announced a randomised controlled Phase 2/3 trial in up to 300 patients evaluating whether remestemcel-L can reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients with moderate/severe ARDS. It is actively enrolling in up to 30 sites in the US.

"This trial was initiated after promising results were seen with remestemcel-L under emergency compassionate use in COVID-19 ARDS, where nine of 12 (75%) ventilator-dependent patients were able to come off ventilators within a median of 10 days," said the company in a statement.

According to chief executive Dr Silviu Itescu, “We greatly appreciate the support shown by both our existing investors and new institutional investors, with demand for the placement far exceeding the funds raised. We look forward to updating the market as this important COVID-19 ARDS trial progresses and to its completion in the coming months.”