A Medical Device Daily

Arbios Systems (Los Angeles) reported entering into agreements with investors for a private placement of $6.61 million through the sale of somewhat more than 2.99 million shares of common stock and warrants to purchase nearly 1.5 million shares of additional common stock.

The shares of common stock were sold at a price of $2.21 a share, and the warrants are exercisable for a period of five years at $2.90 a share.

Arbios said it would use the net proceeds of the transaction to start and complete a pilot clinical trial for Sepet, a blood purification therapy employing selective plasma filtration, and for the Sepet pivotal trial that is slated to begin later in 2005.

In addition, the company said it would be preparing for a Phase III clinical trial for HepatAssist-2, currently scheduled to begin in 2006. HepatAssist-2 is a liver cell therapy and sorbent-based plasma filtration technology, integrated into a proprietary Bioartificial Liver (BAL) system.

Arbios also said that Richard Bank, a fund manager with the lead investor in this financing transaction, has resigned from the company's board of directors, effective Jan. 15.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Arbios Technologies, the company is engaged in the acquisition and development of proprietary liver-assist devices and new technologies used in the diagnosis and treatment of acute liver failure.

Arbios' product pipeline include Sepet, a blood purification therapy employing selective plasma filtration therapy; HepatAssist-2, a bioartificial liver based on technology acquired from Circe Biomedical; and Liveraid, a bioartificial liver in which liver cell therapy and sorbent-based hemo- diafiltration are integrated into a three-compartment cartridge.

Genetronics Biomedical (San Diego) reported entering into agreements with institutional investors to sell common stock of the company for $4.05 a share, producing net proceeds of $3.03 million.

The funding will be used, Genetronics said, to support clinical trials for the company's lead oncology product, the MedPulser Electroporation Therapy System, and for general corporate purposes.

In the agreement, 20% of the funds due were paid upon signing of the purchase agreement. The remaining balance is due upon the earlier of Sept. 30, 2005, or an early payment-triggering event. Each investor will receive two-year warrants to purchase up to 33% of the number of shares purchased in the offering, at $5.50 a share.

Genetronics is a focused on oncology via use of its electroporation therapy, which it says targets a significant unmet need: the selective killing of cancer cells and local ablation of solid tumors while preserving healthy tissue.

The company reports moving its MedPulser Electroporation Therapy System through “pre-sales“ studies for head and neck as well as skin cancers in Europe, where it is CE-marked, and a Phase III pivotal study in the U.S. for recurrent head and neck cancer.

The company reports that Merck, Vical, Chiron, the U.S. Navy and other partners also are using Genetronics' electroporation technology, which facilitates local delivery of drugs and nucleic acids, in their development of novel DNA vaccines and gene therapies.

Genetronics reports more than 240 patents issued, allowed or pending.

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