Oncology company Biocancell Therapeutics Ltd. (TASE:BICL) announced on Monday that it is planning to raise NIS 9 million in a rights issue at NIS 2.36 per share, a 15% discount on yesterday's opening price. The share price rose 2.6% by early afternoon today to NIS 2.95, giving a market cap of NIS 45 million, after rising 3.4% yesterday.
Biocancell's major shareholders have said that they will participate in the issue in full, including Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. (TASE: CBI), which owns 71% of the company. Clal Biotech had once considered publishing an offer to purchase for the company, and might now increase its stake if other shareholders do not participate in the rights issue.
Biocancell CEO Jonathan Burgin said that the proceeds from the offering would be used to finance operations through the third quarter of 2014, by which time the company should obtain US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the protocols for a Phase III clinical trial of the company's bladder cancer drug, BC-819. On the basis of talks with the FDA, the company believes that it will need to recruit for a single study 150 patients with recurring tumors after the bladder was removed.
Biocancell believes that, after the FDA approves the study protocols, it will be able to raise a much larger amount of money, either from the public or from financial institutions, or by licensing the product to a strategic partner.
Biocancell also has a new molecule which it plans to develop for other indications, possibly pancreas or ovarian cancer. The company has six months to decide how much money it will seek to raise in the next offering.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 7, 2014
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