Intrexon partner AmpliPhi raises $13M for antibiotic R&D

AmpliPhi BioSciences has lined up $13 million in private placement cash, selling stock and warrants to fund its pipeline of treatments for drug-resistant bacterial infections.

The Richmond, VA, biotech is issuing nearly 79 million shares at $0.165 apiece to a group of investors including partner Intrexon ($XON), expecting to net about $12.2 million when the private placement closes next week.

With the proceeds, AmpliPhi will advance its trio of candidates that use naturally occurring viruses to target invasive bacteria and battle infection. The top prospect, AmpliPhage-002, is a treatment for the superbug MRSA which AmpliPhi expects to get into Phase I by the end of this year. AmpliPhage-001, which targets Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is on track to wrap up preclinical toxicology studies by the end of 2015, the company said, and the Clostridium difficile-treating AmpliPhage-004 should complete preclinical testing on the same time frame.

"This financing round provides the necessary capital to advance our phage therapy programs into clinical trials," AmpliPhi interim CEO Jeremy Curnock Cook said in a statement. "Together with our world-class partners, which include notable research institutions and our strategic collaborator Intrexon Corporation, we are well positioned to finally realize the potential of phage-based therapies to make a key contribution to addressing the global need for alternative therapies that address the potentially devastating effects of drug-resistant infections."

AmpliPhi began its relationship with Intrexon in 2013, teaming up on new therapies for drug-resistant infections. R.J. Kirk, Intrexon's founder, participated in the company's $7 million private placement a few months later, deepening the ties between the two companies. Among the biotech's collaborators are the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, U.S. Army and University of Leicester.

- read the announcement

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