BioInvent (STO:BINV) is issuing stock in an attempt to raise SEK 234 million ($28 million) to support its nascent pipeline of clinical-phase candidates. Omega Funds, which lists CRISPR front-runner Editas Medicine ($EDIT) among its investments, is buying up SEK 43 million of the stock, making it a major shareholder in BioInvent during a critical phase of the biotech's rebuilding process.
|BioInvent CEO Michael Oredsson|
Lund, Sweden-based BioInvent was rocked in 2012 by the back-to-back failures of midphase clinical trials that sank its stock price and left its pipeline in tatters. In response, Michael Oredsson, who was named CEO in 2013, has effectively rebuilt BioInvent, culminating in the company having a roster of early-phase clinical trials scheduled to get underway this year. BioInvent, which had SEK 40 million in cash at the end of 2015, has turned to U.S. life science investor Omega Funds and its existing backers for money to finance the studies.
By the time BioInvent has burnt through the latest tranche of money, it should have a better idea of whether the rebuilt pipeline can reenergize its outlook. Oredsson expects the cash to see BioInvent through the next two years, a period in which it will start to deliver data from Phase I/II trials of its three most advanced drugs, BI-1206, BI-505 and TB-403. Clinical trials of all three drugs are set to get underway this year, with initial data on TB-403--a once Roche ($RHHBY)-partnered antibody that has been knocking around since the earlier iteration of BioInvent--pencilled in for early next year.
Oredsson already has one eye on potential partnerships for the programs, telling Swedish financial publication Dagens Industri that the latest fundraising should mean BioInvent still has some krona in the bank when it comes time to negotiate deals. In strengthening its position, BioInvent has inflicted more near-term pain on shareholders, though. With BioInvent issuing the shares at SEK 1.95, 28% below the closing price prior to the release of the fundraising news, its stock immediately tanked when the market opened for trading.