NeuroVive Pharmaceutical (STO:NVP) has raised $3.3 million (€2.9 million) from Taiwanese investors to finance early aspects of its Asian expansion. The fundraising moves NeuroVive a step closer to realizing its plan to list its subsidiary on the Taiwan stock exchange.
|NeuroVive CEO Mikael Brönnegård--Courtesy of Nasdaq OMX|
Stockholm, Sweden-based NeuroVive began working on the strategy 11 months ago when it hooked up with Taiwanese IPO specialist Yuanta Securities. The idea is to tap into a new source of cash while also establishing a beachhead for commercial growth in Asia. Taiwan has emerged as a solid location from which to orchestrate such a strategy. The number of biotechs listed in Taiwan has doubled since 2009. And while investors have suffered some setbacks--shares in Medigen fell 75% in one month last summer--a plan to open the market to individuals on the Chinese mainland could add fresh capital.
"The market for the biotech and pharmaceutical industry in Taiwan is currently favorable, which has created an attractive climate for small and medium-sized companies with research intensive operations that are looking for capital to expand their operations," NeuroVive CEO Mikael Brönnegård said in a statement. The lure of Taiwan has prompted NeuroVive to break away from the traditional, U.S.-focused expansion strategy followed by European biotechs. NeuroVive is traded on the OTC market and has secured FDA orphan drug status for a mid-phase drug, but Taiwan is its big play.
A Phase III trial in China and East Asia of NeuroVive's lead candidate--a drug to protect heart attack patients from reperfusion injury--is at the planning stage. NeuroVive expects data from its ongoing 972-person European trial later this year. In the longer term, NeuroVive sees its Taiwan subsidiary handling its early R&D work and taking on projects that fall outside of its core areas. NeuroVive's pipeline is focused on cyclophilin-D-inhibiting cyclosporine-based drugs designed to prevent tissue damage by protecting mitochondria against biochemical imbalances.
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