By Kim Coghill
Medicure Inc., a Canadian company developing therapeutics for cardiovascular conditions, said it filed its final prospectus with the securities commissions, or similar regulatory authorities, in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
The issue is for up to 12.5 million units at C$1.60 (US$1.03) per unit, which would total C$20 million (US$12.9 million). Each unit consists of one common share and one-half of one common share purchase warrant. Each whole common share purchase warrant will entitle the holder to purchase one common share at C$2 for 15 months after the closing, expected March 15.
Agents for the offering are GroomeCapital.com Inc., of Toronto, and Wellington West Capital Inc., of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Dawson Reimer, Medicure's director of business development, said although the prospectus clears the company to offer up to 12.5 million shares, Medicure likely will reduce that number.
Prior to the offering, the company had 21 million shares issued and about $2.7 million in cash available. Reimer said the company has other warrants issued that could bring in $3 million.
Located in Winnipeg, Medicure was founded in 1997 by Albert Friesen, a biotechnology entrepreneur, and Naranjan Dhalla, a cardiovascular researcher and director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba. The company went public in November 1999 and Friesen remains president and CEO.
The company's lead product, Cardoxal (MC-1), an oral therapeutic, is being developed to reduce heart damage from heart attack and to protect the heart against injury resulting from coronary bypass surgery and angioplasty.
Portions of the funding raised from the offering will be used to prepare for Cardoxal's Phase II and III clinical trials. Remaining money will pay for the Medicure's drug discovery and acquisition program.
The Phase I study began in October and is being conducted under contract by a Canadian clinical research organization. Phase II trials are expected to begin sometime next year.
Late last year, Medicure granted 120,000 stock options at a price of $2.45 per common share to certain directors, officers and employees of the company. The options are set to expire in five years.
Also last year, the company signed an agreement with George Washington University in Washington to acquire the option to license three patented therapeutics that have shown promise for treatment of cardiovascular and other diseases. Medicure could acquire exclusive worldwide commercial development rights to the technologies in exchange for sales royalties and other payments based on the commercialization of resulting products.