Epizyme Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it established funding agreements with Royalty Pharma and affiliate Pharmakon Advisors for up to $270 million, extending Epizyme's operating runway into at least 2022. Epizyme said the agreements will enable it to fund the expected 2020 launches of small-molecule EZH2 inhibitor tazemetostat in epithelioid sarcoma and follicular lymphoma and to invest in the continued development of tazemetostat and its epigenetic pipeline. Royalty Pharma agreed to make an up-front payment of $100 million for Epizyme common shares based on a price of $15 apiece, a 27% premium to the stock's (NASDAQ:EPZM) Nov. 1 closing price of $11.85. Epizyme has an 18-month option to sell an additional $50 million of its common stock to Royalty Pharma at prevailing prices, not to exceed $20 per share, and Royalty Pharma has a three-year option to purchase an additional 2.5 million Epizyme common shares at $20 apiece. Epizyme and Royalty Pharma agreed to reduce existing royalty rates owed by Epizyme to Royalty Pharma on global sales of tazemetostat outside Japan at annual net sales levels, following Royalty Pharma's acquisition of future royalty streams on tazemetostat sales in all regions except Japan, which Epizyme previously owed to Eisai Co. Ltd., of Tokyo, as part of an April 2015 amended agreement. Epizyme also assigned to Royalty Pharma future royalty streams on tazemetostat sales in Japan previously owed to Epizyme by Eisai. Separately, Epizyme established a $70 million loan facility with Pharmakon Advisors to fund regulatory milestones owed to Eisai for NDA submissions and U.S. approvals of tazemetostat in epithelioid sarcoma and follicular lymphoma. The facility may be drawn down in up to three tranches in conjunction with achievement of milestones and may be expanded by up to $300 million following approval of tazemetostat in follicular lymphoma. On Monday, Epizyme shares gained 61 cents to close at $12.46. (See BioWorld, June 24, 2019.)
Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Boston, said it arranged a $32 million securities purchase agreement with existing and new institutional investors. The private placement was led by BVF Partners LP with participation from Ecor1 Capital, Aquilo Capital Management, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company) and Samsara Biocapital. The private placement consisted of approximately 9 million units priced at $3.55 apiece, each consisting of one share of Pieris common stock (NASDAQ:PIRS) or 0.001 nonvoting series C convertible preferred stock along with one warrant, which may be exercised immediately, to purchase one common share at an exercise price of $7.10. Each convertible preferred share may be converted into 1,000 common shares provided the conversion does not amount to ownership of more than 9.99% of the company's outstanding shares. Pieris said the warrants will facilitate the exercise of its co-development option with Astrazeneca plc, of Cambridge, U.K., for IL-4 receptor antagonist PRS-060/AZ-1402 following conclusion of a positive phase IIa study. If top-line results show the primary efficacy endpoint was achieved and the stock reaches a prespecified price, the warrants will expire 60 days thereafter and may only be exercised for cash. Otherwise, they may be exercised for up to five years from the issue date. Pieris expects to use proceeds for continued development of its immuno-oncology pipeline, including PRS-343, its 4-1BB/HER2 bispecific, and PRS-344, its 4-1BB/PD-L1 bispecific in co-development with Les Laboratoires Servier SAS, of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, along with advancement of its pipeline of inhalable respiratory drug candidates following proof-of-mechanism of PRS-060/AZ-1402. The financing is expected to close by Nov. 6. William Blair & Co. LLC acted as sole placement agent. On Monday, Pieris shares gained 31 cents to close at $3.74. (See BioWorld, Jan. 6, 2017, and May 4, 2017.)
Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Watertown, Mass., said it completed its registered direct offering to a health care-focused institutional investor, pricing at-the-market 300,000 common shares and accompanying warrants to purchase another 300,000 common shares along with prefunded warrants to purchase up to approximately 1.8 million common shares and accompanying warrants to purchase another 1.8 million common shares. Each common share and accompanying warrant were sold at a combined price of $3.755, and each prefunded warrant and accompanying common stock warrant were sold at a combined price of $3.745, for net proceeds of approximately $7 million. Tetraphase said proceeds will be used for the commercialization of its approved tetracycline Xerava (eravacycline) to treat serious and life-threatening infections. H.C. Wainwright & Co. acted as exclusive placement agent. The company's shares (NASDAQ:TTPH) lost 10 cents Monday to close at $3.19. (See BioWorld, Aug. 28, 2018.)
Y-mabs Therapeutics Inc., of New York, said it closed its public offering of approximately 5.1 million common shares priced at $28 apiece, including full exercise of the option by underwriters to purchase 669,750 additional common shares, for gross proceeds of approximately $143.8 million. Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Bofa Securities acted as joint book-runners, with Wedbush Pacgrow and H.C. Wainwright & Co. as co-managers. Y-mabs shares (NASDAQ:YMAB) gained 54 cents Monday to close at $29.94.