Protalix Biotherapeutics raises $22m in private placement

The company's share has fallen 36% since the FDA requested additional information on its Gaucher's treatment.

Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc. (AMEX:PLX) has put an end to rumors about an impending offering by raising $22 million from private investors.

The private placement was executed at a price of $5.50 per share without options, in other words at a discount of 10% on the share price at the start of trading on Friday. Even at the close of trading on Friday the share price remained $5.80, giving a market cap of $474 million.

Most of those participating in the private placement were US institutional investors. Biocell Ltd. (TASE:BCEL), the largest shareholder in Protalix did not take part in the placement and thus reduced its stake in the company from 17.8% to 17%.

Protalix suffered a huge blow last month when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused to approve its treatment for Gaucher's disease. At the time Protalix's share price slumped 18%, giving it a market cap of $620 million, and since then the share price has plunged by a further 18%.

In fact the FDA did not completely reject Protalix's Gaucher's treatment but requested additional information which will take at least 9 months to a year to provide, according to analysts, and in a highly competitive market this delay will enable other companies to consolidate their market share.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on March 20, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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