Favrille Inc. is doubling its cash position with a $21.1 million registered direct offering, which is intended to support a number of general corporate purposes, including the anticipated regulatory filing and commercialization of its lead immunotherapy, FavId, in B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
The San Diego-based firm finished enrolling 349 patients with follicular B-cell NHL in a pivotal Phase III trial in early 2006, and recently reported that it anticipates study completion in April 2008, with data available no later than July.
FavId is an active immunotherapy that's based on genetic information from patients' tumors and designed to work by stimulating the immune system. The trial, which is being conducted under a special protocol assessment, aims to test the ability of FavId to extend time to disease progression in patients following induction treatment with Rituxan (rituximab), the standard-of-care therapy marketed by Genentech Inc. and Biogen Idec Inc. Since Rituxan is considered a "passive" immunotherapy, Favrille anticipates that the addition of FavId will slow NHL disease progression better than Rituxan alone.
In addition to FavId, the company has entered the clinic with a second immunotherapy candidate, FAV-201, in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. And earlier this year, Favrille expanded its pipeline with an exclusive, royalty-free license to anti-CD20 antibodies from Diversa Corp., of San Diego. Those preclinical antibodies are expected to be investigated as next-generation B-cell NHL therapies.
In its prospectus, Favrille said it will sell up to 7.4 million shares of common stock, plus warrants to purchase up to 4.4 million shares. Those will be offered in units - each comprised of one share and a warrant to purchase 0.6 shares - priced at $2.85 each. Net proceeds are expected to total about $20 million, adding to the $20.9 million Favrille reported in cash as of Sept. 30. The company posted a net loss of $12.3 million, or 37 cents per share, for the third quarter.
New York-based Lazard Capital Markets LLC served as sole placement agent. Following the offering, Favrille will have about 41.2 million shares outstanding.
Shares of Favrille (NASDAQ:FVRL) fell 41 cents Monday to close at $2.42.
In other financings news:
• Neurobiological Technologies Inc., of Emeryville, Calif., closed its $60 million offering of 21.8 million shares of common stock. The company received about $55 million in net proceeds, and said the financing should enable it to get through two ongoing Phase III trials of lead compound Viprinex in acute ischemic stroke. Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. acted as the sole book-running manager, and Dawson James Securities Inc. served as co-manager. Shares of Neurobiological Technologies (NASDAQ:NTII) closed Monday at $2.47, down 11 cents. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 31, 2007.)
• Genoptix Inc., of San Diego, closed its initial public offering of 5 million shares and said underwriters exercised in full their 30-day overallotment option of 750,000 shares at the $17 purchase price. The company reported net proceeds of $72.7 million, which will be used to hire additional personnel, establish a second laboratory facility, expand backup systems, repay debt and pursue collaborations, as well as support working capital and general corporate purposes. Lehman Brothers Inc. acted as sole book-running manager, with Banc of America Securities LLC serving as joint lead manager and Cowen and Co. LLC as co-manager. Shares of Genoptix (NASDAQ:GXDX) closed at $26.14 Monday, down 21 cents. (See BioWorld Today, Oct. 31, 2007.)