Cancer drug developer MethylGene raises $34.5M

Canada's MethylGene is raising $34.5 million through the private placement of shares and warrants to fund mid-stage trials of two oncology drugs. Previous investors ProQuest Investments III and Fonds de solidarité FTQ will participate in the offering, along with several new U.S.-based institutions, notes the Montreal Gazette.

MethylGene is plotting a Phase II trial of MGCD265 for non-small cell lung and other cancer indications. The drug targets the c-MET, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, VEGFR3, Ron and Tie-2 receptor tyrosine kinases, which appear to play key roles in tumor development and blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) and tumor survival, according to the company's website. MethylGene is also advancing MGCD290 into Phase II clinical trials in vulvovaginal candidiasis.

"I'm very pleased to announce this financing and am particularly gratified by the high calibre life science investors we attracted. I also want to thank our current investors for their continuing support," said CEO Charles Grubsztajn in a statement. "The proceeds of this financing will provide us with sufficient capital to advance our two primary product candidates into Phase II clinical trials in specific indications which we believe will offer the most benefit to patients and value to shareholders." The financing should support MethylGene's operations through 2014.

- here's MethylGene's release
- get more from the Montreal Gazette