Chinese VC to inject $30M into Pluristem Therapeutics

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Israeli micro-cap biotech Pluristem Therapeutics ($PSTI) was up by more than 11% premarket this morning on the news that it is set to gain a $30 million boost through a China-based venture firm.

The cash boost will come from the China-based co Innovative Medical Management, a part of Zheshang Venture Capital (ZSVC).

This firm has around ¥30 billion ($4.45 billion) under management through more than 30 venture capital, private equity, angel, and buyout funds, according to the biotech’s statement.

Drilling down into the details, around 16.9 million shares of Pluristem common stock will be sold at $1.77 per share. As of yesterday, it was trading at $1.52.

Pluristem will also issue to Innovative Medical around 4.4 million warrants to purchase shares of its common stock alongside an exercise price of $2.50 per warrant, exercisable for 5 years. The co also gets a seat at the Pluristem board for its troubles.

Shareholders from Innovative Medical still have to sign off on the deal, which is expected to happen by mid-November.

Pluristem’s business is based upon a process of expanding cells from full-term human placentas in bioreactors.

When the cells are given to a patient, they are thought to reverse tissue damage by releasing cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. The idea has yet to be tested in late-phase trials, with an ongoing Phase II in patients with intermittent claudication the most advanced program.

Last year it was given a spot on the European Medicines Agency's adaptive pathways pilot project that aimed to help reduce the time it could take to bring its PLX cell program in critical limb ischemia to market in a subpopulation.