Danish vaccine maker Bavarian Nordic A/S reported gross proceeds of DKK465 million (US$83.3 million) from a rights offering of 1.3 million shares, which will be used to support manufacturing activities related to its smallpox vaccine and other pipeline programs.
The shares, which had a nominal value of DKK10 each at DKK365 per share, were offered with pre-exemption rights for existing shareholders at a 1-for-5 ration.
A number of existing shareholders, A.J. Aamund A/S, PKA A/S and Famandsforeningen LD, gave binding advance commitments for the exercise of their entire subscription rights equivalent to gross proceeds of DKK119.7 million. A.A. Aamund subscribed new shares for about DKK80.8 million, and a small part of the offering was subscribed according to underwriting provided by FIH Erhvervsbank A/S and Nordea Bank Denmark A/S.
New shares will be listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange beginning today.
Based in Kvistgard, Denmark, Bavarian Nordic develops vaccines aimed at preventing and treating infectious diseases and cancer. Its work has yielded a development contract with the U.S. government to develop Imvamune, a third-generation smallpox vaccine.
The company was awarded contracts under the government's Request for Proposal (RFP)-I and RFP-II programs, and awaits a decision on the RFP-III program, which would call for the initial purchase of up to 20 million doses of Imvamune, a modified vaccinia ankara (MVA)-based vaccine, with an option for an additional 60 million doses. That award hinges on the product's safety and efficacy in further clinical testing.
Late last year, the company reported preliminary Phase II results showing that Imvamune appeared well tolerated in both healthy subjects and HIV-infected patients. Immunogenicity data also indicated that 96 percent of those who had HIV and were not vaccinated previously against smallpox showed a detectible antibody response two weeks after the Imvamune boost vaccination, a figure that was equivalent to the healthy control group.
The vaccine is manufactured at the company's Kvistgard facility.
Elsewhere in its pipeline, Bavarian Nordic is developing vaccines in several other indications using its MVA-BN vaccine vector technology. MVA HIV Nef, which is based on a recombinant MVA vaccine expressing the HIV Nef protein, is in Phase II testing aimed at slowing disease progression in HIV-infected patients. Another product, MVA-BN polytope, is in Phase I in HIV-infected patients and also is being tested as a prophylactic. The company has other earlier-stage vaccine programs in cancer, measles, respiratory syncytial virus, Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever.
Bavarian Nordic has not yet released its fourth-quarter earnings. The company reported a net loss of DKK145.2 million for the third quarter of 2006. As of Sept. 30, it had cash totaling DKK382.3 million.
Bavarian Nordic's stock (Copenhagen:BAVA) remained unchanged Wednesday, closing at DKK504.
In other financings news:
• AutoGenomics Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., completed a $12 million Series C round, with investments coming primarily from non-institutional investors. The company, which develops microarray-based multiplexing diagnostic systems to assess disease signatures with genomic and proteomic markers, will use the funds to expand its test application offerings, expand manufacturing and increase sales and marketing efforts for the Infiniti System. AutoGenomics' first tests for coagulation factors II and V, plus its analyzer, recently were cleared by the FDA, so the company does not expect additional funding to be necessary "in the foreseeable future." Another test, 2C9/VKORC1, a genetic panel to assess warfarin sensitivity, is pending FDA review and several other applications are planned for submission this year.
• EndoCeutics Inc., of Quebec, set the terms for its proposed initial public offering. The firm plans to offer 5.75 million shares at $11 to $13 per share. It would raise $69 million if the shares sold at the midpoint of that price range. It registered last month for an IPO on Nasdaq to raise up to $75 million. (See BioWorld Today, March 1, 2007.)
• Microbix Biosystems Inc., of Toronto, said it intends to have financing in place this year to support clinical trials and commercialization activities involving Urokinase, a product for dissolving blood clots and for use in cancer therapies. The company reported that several parties expressed interest in financing those ongoing programs. Urokinase, which Microbix manufactures for clot-busting use, also is the focus of an oncology collaboration with Chicago-based Angiogen LLC. In that deal, the companies are development a therapy that combines Urokinase with a second small-molecule drug and is designed to work by cutting off a tumor's blood supply.