Nordic Nanovector (OSE:NANO) has closed the book on its IPO at NOK 575 million ($73 million), around 40% more than it originally set out to raise. The upsized listing puts Nordic Nanovector among the early front-runners at the top of Europe's biotech IPO class of 2015.
The boast comes with a couple of caveats. France's Cellectis ($CLLS) has raised more across the Atlantic. And the amount raised by Nordic Nanovector is dwarfed by Kelly Martin's Malin (ISE:MLC) and Neil Woodford's Patient Capital Trust (LSE:WPCT), both of which are investing in biotechs. But within the small field of IPOs on European exchanges in 2015 by companies in the drug development trenches, Nordic Nanovector is a standout success.
Oslo, Norway-based Nordic Nanovector hit the heights of NOK 575 million after increasing its offering in March and selling the over-allotment this week. The over-allotment added NOK 75 million to Nordic Nanovector's haul, giving it the cash it needs to mount a multi-pronged clinical trial program for its lead candidate, Betalutin. The IPO was initially expected to finance the advancement of the antibody-radio-conjugate toward a 2017 filing, but the scope has grown with the size of the offering.
Nordic Nanovector now has the financial capacity to develop Betalutin in diseases beyond follicular lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is the lead indication for the drug. Phase I trials of Betalutin as a conditioning regimen for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients who are receiving blood stem cells and as a second-line treatment for the same disease are set to get underway this year. Nordic Nanovector is sat an enough cash for Phase II DLBCL trials, too.
The possibility of investors seeing a return on their cash rests on Betalutin, a combination of a CD37-targeting antibody and the beta-emitting isotope lutetium-177. The idea is that the antibody hones in on the CD37 antigen expressed by B-cell lymphomas and delivers the low-intensity beta emitter to the inside of the cells. With Lu-177 emitting beta radiation over a 0.5 millimeter radius, Nordic Nanovector thinks it will take out tumor cells in the vicinity without damaging healthy tissue.
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