Viralytics (ASX:VLA) has completed a $28.3 million placement of 46,118,270 shares to international and domestic sophisticated or professional investors at an issue price of $0.615 per share. It has also announced a new Share Purchase Plan.
The immunotherapy company said the placement was significantly oversubscribed with strong demand from international specialist healthcare investment funds, including two New York based Funds new to the register.
The price represents a 5.2 per cent discount to the VWAP for the 5 days up to and including 9 December 2015.
As a result of the placement, OrbiMed Advisors, a New York headquartered specialist global healthcare fund, becomes a substantial shareholder in Viralytics.
The company said funds raised will support more rapid advancement of its clinical program, in particular acceleration of the collaborative study with MSD assessing CAVATAK in combination with PBS-listed KEYTRUDA in late stage bladder and lung cancer patients (STORM trial).
It will also fund completion of the CANON trial involving CAVATAK in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, with potential extension into a phase 2 study, and the completion of the CAPRA and MITCI studies in melanoma patients assessing the therapy in combination with KEYTRUDA and Bristol-Myers Squibb's YERVOY.
The company said it plans further clinical trials including a study to assess CAVATAK delivered intravenously in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor in melanoma patients and new CAVATAK studies in other cancer types.
Funds will also be applied to the manufacture of CAVATAK for use in clinical trials and general working capital.
“In 2015 we expanded the programme for our lead investigational product, CAVATAK, into a growing number of clinical trials; enhanced our collaborations with leaders in the immunooncology field; and generated new and promising patient data in a range of cancer types.” said Viralytics’ Managing Director, Dr Malcolm McColl.
“We intend strengthening the body of clinical evidence supporting CAVATAK’s potential as an important new agent in the blockbuster field of cancer immunotherapy. Our goal is to use this evidence to drive partnering discussions and shareholder value from a position of financial strength, ensuring that we are able to realize a significant commercial outcome from our innovative technology.”
The new shares to be issued represent approximately 25 per cent of shares on issue.
The company has also announced that it will now offer each eligible shareholder the opportunity to subscribe for up to $15,000 in Viralytics shares under a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) at the same price of $0.615 per share offered under the placement.
The amount to be raised by the SPP will be limited to $4 million with any scale back of applications to be determined at the company’s discretion. Participation in the SPP is open to all holders of Viralytics shares with a registered address in Australia and New Zealand at the SPP record date, on 11 December 2015.