By Chris Delporte
Isotechnika Inc. raised C$25.08 million (US$16.24 million) through the sale of warrants.
The Edmonton, Alberta, company issued 5.7 million warrants at C$4.40 (US$2.85) per warrant. Each special warrant entitles its holder to acquire one share of Isotechnika common stock with no further consideration.
The financing was underwritten by a syndicate of dealers led by TD Securities Inc., of Toronto.
As of July 19, Isotechnika had roughly 49 million shares outstanding. Its stock (TSE:ISA), which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, closed unchanged Friday at C$4.75.
Isotechnika will use proceeds from the financing primarily to fund ongoing research of its lead compound, ISAtx247, which is nearing Phase II trials. It is a novel immunosuppressive drug for the prevention of organ rejection after transplantation and for treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
¿These funds will enable us to carry out our business plan for the development of ISAtx247 into human clinical Phase III trials for kidney transplantation, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis,¿ Randall Yatscoff, Isotechnika¿s president and chief operating officer, said in a prepared statement.
The company¿s drug development also is supported, in part, by sales of its noninvasive point-of-care diagnostic products. Isotechnika¿s lead product, Helikit, is a breath-based diagnostic test kit to aid in the diagnosis of ulcers.
Isotechnika¿s business is separated into two main areas: diagnostics and therapeutics.
The company¿s diagnostics product line includes breath-based diagnostic kits, monoclonal antibodies for monitoring drug concentrations and point-of-care instruments for onsite analysis of results.
The therapeutics focus is in cancer. The company also has developed atomic substitution processes for improving existing immunosuppressive drugs and antibiotics.
The FDA and Health Canada each cleared ISAtx247 to begin Phase II clinical trials in kidney patients. The company plans to enroll 120 patients at 16 centers throughout North America, including Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Patients in the study will be taken off cyclosporine, which is the current anti-rejection standard, and given ISAtx247.
ISAtx247 is a multiplatform drug, and according to the company, has shown potential for treating a range of autoimmune diseases. Health Canada also has given the company the green light to begin testing in psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis patients.
The company said research has shown that ISAtx247 is 500 percent more potent than cyclosporine, but less toxic. While cyclosporine has been an effective anti-rejection therapy, it has adverse effects on the kidney after long-term use, sometimes resulting in kidney transplants.
¿The reduced toxicity and increased potency of ISATX247 suggests that the drug will have significant therapeutic advantages over currently used immunosuppressive medications,¿ Randall Morris, Stanford¿s director of transplantation, said in prepared statement.