BioWorld International Correspondent
PARIS - BioAlliance Pharma SA raised €40 million in a private placement under the authorization granted by the shareholders' meeting held April 24.
The Paris-based company, which has been listed on the Eurolist market of the Euronext Paris stock exchange since completing an IPO in December 2005, reserved the share capital increase for 32 international companies and investment funds that were already investors in the biopharmaceutical sector.
The 3.1 million new shares issued by BioAlliance represent 25.2 percent of the company's outstanding equity after the capital increase. The offering was priced at €12.79 per share, which compares with the offer price of €13.30 for the December 2005 IPO and a current market price of €12.98.
The manager and bookrunner for the placement was the Paris office of Bryan, Garnier & Co., which handled the original IPO. BioAlliance intends to apply for the new shares to be listed on the Euronext Eurolist market, where they will be fully fungible with the company's existing ordinary shares. The settlement delivery of the new shares was scheduled for Aug. 1.
Dominique Costantini, BioAlliance Pharma CEO, said, "This secondary financing . . . is a significant endorsement of BioAlliance's product portfolio, which as of today includes three products in phase III." She added that it primarily was aimed at supporting the launch of Loramyc, BioAlliance's once-a-day topical formulation of miconazole incorporating its Lauriad adhesive technology. The product received marketing approval in France in October 2006 for the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis in immunodepressed patients, particularly those with head and neck cancers who have undergone radiotherapy, and those infected by HIV.
Last March, BioAlliance formed a 50:50 joint venture with Spepharm Holding BV, of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for the marketing of Loramyc in all European Union countries except France, where BioAlliance has set up its own sales force. Under that agreement, BioAlliance is due to receive a total of €29.5 million (US$40.4 million) from Spepharm for distribution rights to Loramyc.
Then in July, BioAlliance signed an exclusive licensing agreement worth $65 million with Par Pharmaceutical, of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., for the commercialization of Loramyc in the U.S. The French company received an initial payment of $15 million, and Par is to pay it a further $20 million upon FDA approval of Loramyc, as well as possible milestones and royalties on sales.
Marketing approval for Loramyc in Europe was granted by the French Health Products Safety Agency, and a European mutual recognition procedure is now under way. The product is due to be launched in France before the end of this year.
In addition to preparing for the launch of Loramyc, Costantini said the additional funds would allow BioAlliance to "accelerate the transition to the clinical development stage of our promising new products, as well as to develop more products capitalizing on our Lauriad adhesive technology." She added that "targeted product acquisitions in the HIV/cancer field will also be part of our activities."