LONDON -- Phytopharm plc raised £2.2 million (US$3.6 million) in a placement with an institutional investor, without the need to offer a heavy discount. The company last week placed 1.6 million shares at £1.45 per share, compared to a closing price of £1.50 on Nov. 13. A week earlier, PPL Therapeutics plc was forced to offer a discount of more than 30 percent to raise £20.4 million, while Therapeutic Antibodies Inc. had to discount its placement by more than 50 percent to raise £7.5 million at the beginning of November.

The new Phytopharm shares account for 4.97 percent of the issued share capital.

Richard Dixey, CEO, said he was "very pleased with the support received from both existing and new shareholders in difficult market conditions. It is very gratifying to be able to place these shares at a nominal discount to the market price." In August, Phytopharm, based in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, agreed on a collaboration with Pfizer Inc., of New York, to develop P57, a South African plant extract, as an appetite suppressant. Earlier this month, the company disclosed a deal in pet health care with U.S. company Heska Corp.

Dixey said the two deals have helped lower the cash burn, which now stands at around £180,000 per month. "Despite the expense of several of our products moving into the clinic, we expect these funds to secure the company's development for at least the next two years," he said. *