Agenus Inc., of Lexington, Mass., said it conducted a $115 million non-dilutive royalty transaction relating to a note purchase agreement with an investor group led by Oberland Capital Management LLC. The company intends to use the proceeds to advance its immuno-oncology programs. Oberland Capital, in return for $100 million at closing, will have the right to receive 100 percent of Agenus' rights to the worldwide royalties on sales of Glaxosmithkline plc's shingles (HZ/su) and malaria (RTS,S) prophylactic vaccine products that contain QS-21 adjuvant until all principal and interest on the loan has been paid. At its option, Agenus will receive an additional $15 million in cash after FDA approval of HZ/su, provided it does not occur later than June 30, 2018. Also at its option, Agenus has the right to buy back the loan at any time under pre-specified terms. The notes issued under the agreement will accrue interest at 13.5 percent per annum, compounded quarterly. The company also said that immediately prior to executing their agreement with Oberland Capital, it re-purchased from Ingalls & Snyder Value Partners L.P. and Arthur Koenig their rights to receive 20 percent of all of the GSK royalties for $20 million in cash, plus 300,000 shares of Agenus common stock.
Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, said it intends to offer and sell $75 million of its common stock in an underwritten public offering. The company also expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to $11.25 million of additional shares of common stock. Leerink Partners, Canaccord Genuity and Guggenheim Securities are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Needham & Co. is acting as lead manager.
Avexis Inc., of Chicago, said it completed a $65 million class D common stock financing led by funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., a new investor, along with other new participants including Janus Capital Management LLC, Adage Capital Management L.P., RA Capital Management, QVT Financial LP, Rock Springs Capital Management LP, Foresite Capital Management LLC, RTW Investments LLC and Boxer Capital of Tavistock Life Sciences. Existing investors including Deerfield Management, Roche Venture Fund and Venrock also participated. The company intends to use the proceeds to advance their ongoing spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) clinical program and expand key operational capabilities. Avexis has an ongoing phase I dose-ranging trial using scAAV9.CB.SMN, a gene transfer therapy that introduces fully functioning copies of a survival motor neuron (SMN) gene, in patients with SMA type 1. The copied gene is intended to supplement the body's production of SMN protein using an adeno-associated viral vector that carries the SMN gene. Following this treatment, the company said, the cell machinery could then continually produce SMN protein from the new copies of the SMN gene.
Cerecor Inc., of Baltimore, is planning to raise $27 million from an IPO of 4.2 million shares at a price range of $6 to $7. The company reported in its filing that it is focused on neurological and psychiatric disorders with a portfolio of clinical and preclinical compounds. CERC-301 is currently in phase II development as an oral, adjunctive treatment of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), who are failing to achieve an adequate response to their current antidepressant treatment and are severely depressed. CERC-501, also in phase II testing, is being developed for adjunctive treatment of MDD and for substance use disorders (e.g., nicotine, alcohol, and/or cocaine). The company has applied to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol CERC.
Nabriva Therapeutics AG, of Vienna, plans to raise $96 million from an IPO of 6 million American Depositary Shares priced in the range of $15 to $17. The company is focused on the research and development of anti-infective compounds to treat serious infections, with a focus on the pleuromutilin class of antibiotics. Specifically, the company said it is working on both intravenous and oral formulations of lefamulin for the treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, and intends to develop lefamulin for additional indications other than pneumonia. It plans to list on Nasdaq under the symbol NBRV.
Regenxbio Inc., of Rockville, Md., has sets terms for an $100 million IPO, planning to offer 5.55 million shares in the price range of $17 to $19. The company is focused on the development, commercialization and licensing of recombinant adeno-associated virus gene therapies. It said its NAV technology platform is currently being applied in the development of 23 product candidates for a variety of diseases, including five internally developed product candidates and 18 partnered product candidates. Regenxbio applied to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol RGNX.