Cantargia is moving ahead with plans to list on Nasdaq First North in Stockholm, Sweden. The IPO is intended to give Cantargia the cash to push ahead with development of its lead candidate, an antibody-based cancer therapy that is on the cusp of entering the clinic.
|Cantargia CEO Göran Forsberg|
Lund, Sweden-based Cantargia is aiming to raise an initial SEK 44.1 million ($5.4 million), 88% of which has already been promised by investors. If Cantargia can persuade other investors to come on board, it could pull in a further SEK 55.1 million, more than doubling its initial target. The relatively small IPO reflects the immaturity of Cantargia's pipeline, which is currently lacking in clinical-phase candidates. Cash from the IPO is expected to rectify that situation.
Cantargia expects to plough the fresh funds into preclinical toxicology tests and manufacturing ahead of a planned Phase I/IIa trial. Data from the preclinical studies--which are primarily targeting solid tumors--will dictate which indications Cantargia pursues in the clinic. The lead candidate targets interleukin 1 receptor accessory protein (IL1RAP), which is expressed in multiple forms of cancer.
In preclinical tests, Cantargia's candidate has shown the potential to boost the immune response against cancer and stop tumor cells from spreading. The early promise was enough to tempt investors to chip in SEK 20 million last year to fuel Cantargia's move toward clinical trials and persuade ex-Active Biotech executive Göran Forsberg to take the CEO role.
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