Drug discovery and development company e-Therapeutics plc proposes to raise GBP 40 million (approximately GBP 39million net) through an issue of new ordinary shares to existing and new institutional investors. The new shares will be priced at 32p, a premium of 4% to the closing mid-market price on the last dealing day before this announcement. Irrevocable undertakings of support have been received from shareholders representing approximately 86% of the Company’s equity in advance of a general meeting where approval for the issue will be sought.
Following the proposed issue, the Company will have pro-forma net cash and liquid resources of approximately GBP 48million. Together with expected receipts from R&D tax credits and interest, these resources are intended to support all of the Company’s currently planned discovery and development activities into 2017, by which time the Directors believe an out-licensing deal could be concluded for the Company’s lead cancer drug, ETS2101.
The principal planned uses of the Company’s enlarged cash resources are:
to complete phase I trials for ETS2101 and advance the drug seamlessly into and through the next phase of its clinical development, which is expected to include a randomised phase II trial in brain cancer (glioma) and a phase Ib/II trial that will explore the drug’s activity in four to six other cancer indications. e-Therapeutics plans to spend around GBP 25 million on this programme for ETS2101 and expects to complete the studies in time to conclude a licensing deal or deals during 2017 if the data are supportive;
to continue investment in new drug discovery using the Company’s network pharmacology platform. The Directors are confident that sustained investment in the platform and its application to drug discovery will yield new drug candidates that will drive future value in the business; and
to advance newly discovered drugs and existing product assets into and through preclinical and clinical development, with the aim of building an increasingly diverse and mature portfolio of drug candidates.
Professor Malcolm Young, Chief Executive Officer of e-Therapeutics, said:“We appreciate the continuing support of existing investors and are also pleased to have attracted significant new investors to the Company. With our financial position secure we are well placed to build further shareholder value based on our innovative platform and product portfolio.”
Dr Daniel Elger, Chief Financial Officer of e-Therapeutics, added: “This fundraising provides us with the resources needed for significant investment in new drug discovery and to take our lead cancer drug ETS2101 through efficacy-focused trials that could lead to a lucrative licensing deal.”
The funds to be raised through the new issue will include a substantial further investment by Invesco Asset Management Limited, whose shareholding will increase from 45.92% to 49.90% after completion. The Takeover Panel has granted an Accelerated Rule 9 Waiver in respect of the acquisition of new shares by Invesco.
A circular to shareholders, including a notice convening a general meeting, will be dispatched shortly. A digital version and the full release will also be available on the Company’s website at www.etherapeutics.co.uk.
e-Therapeutics is an AIM-listed biotechnology company with a proprietary platform in network pharmacology, an innovative new approach to drug discovery based on advances in network science and chemical biology. The Company’s discovery and development activity is focused in cancer and disorders of the nervous system. e-Therapeutics is based at sites in Oxford and Newcastle, UK. For more information about the Company please visit www.etherapeutics.co.uk.