Success for BioCancell Therapeutics Inc.: Excess demand in BioCancell's public offering of shares and warrants generated immediate proceeds of $5.1 million, 18% above its stated minimal fundraising goal of $4.3 million. Units offered to the public included ten shares, five Series 3 Warrants and five Series 4 Warrants, and were offered at a minimum price of NIS 29.50 ($8.08), with the offer closing with all successful bidders paying NIS 33.00 ($9.03), a premium of 12% on the minimum price and 24% on the market price at the day of the offering (NIS 2.66, or $0.73). In addition to the immediate proceeds, BioCancell stands to benefit from up to $6.27 million in future proceeds from the exercise, if fully exercised, of Series 3 and 4 Warrants. The offering was led by Israeli distributor Clal Finance Underwriting.
The proceeds will support BioCancell's efforts to accelerate its clinical pipeline, with emphasis on a Phase IIb pancreatic cancer clinical trial. BC-819, BioCancell's lead drug, recently completed a Phase I/IIa pancreatic cancer clinical trial, showing an excellent safety profile and significant preliminary efficiency. BioCancell is preparing an FDA application to commence an advanced, international Phase IIb clinical trial of BC-819 given in sequence with the FDA-approved cancer drug Gemzar, a combination that has shown better efficiency on animals than either of these drugs alone. BC-819 is also undergoing clinical trials for bladder cancer (Phase IIb) and ovarian cancer (Phase I/IIa).
BioCancell CEO Uri Danon stated, "We are pleased with the successful fundraising round, and thank the investors for their confidence in BioCancell. I am certain that this fundraising, as well as our recent, successful Phase I/IIa pancreatic cancer clinical trial, will help in advancing our clinical trials and proving the potential of BC-819. This fundraising accomplishment compels BioCancell to ensure even greater successes in the future."
BioCancell was founded in 2004, based on technology developed by Prof. Abraham Hochberg, a 20-year professor of molecular biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Hochberg is a founder of BioCancell and its Chief Scientist since inception. BioCancell specializes in developing treatments for a wide range of types of cancer.
BioCancell has developed a series of drugs that use plasmids (biological material) as a targeted treatment for cancer. Lead drug candidate BC-819 is based on the use of the H19 gene, expressed only in cancerous cells, to synthesize a toxin in the cancerous cells only, causing cancer cell destruction without significant side effects or damage to surrounding tissue.