Universal flu vaccine developer BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq: BVXV) has announced a rights issue led by the aMoon life sciences venture capital fund. aMoon, whose anchor investor is Marius Nacht, already holds a 20% stake in BiondVax and on completion of the latest investment, it could become the controlling shareholder in the Jerusalem-based company. Consequently, aMoon's investment will be subject to approval at the shareholder's meeting on May 28.
aMoon closed its $660 million second life sciences venture capital fund a few months ago.
Under the latest agreement, aMoon will invest $4 million in BiondVax with an option to invest a further $10 million - an option that it is almost certain to exercise. The overall rights issue will therefore range between $14 million (in the event that the public does not participate in the offering) and $30 million (if the public exercises its full rights).
BiondVax, whose CEO is Ron Babecoff, is in a Phase III clinical trial for its product. The company is traded on Nasdaq, after delisting from the TASE, with a market cap of $42 million. Since the company delisted from the TASE at the end of 2017, its share price has fallen 20%.
Crucial trial results at the end of 2020
BiondVax has almost floundered in the "Death Valley" before reaching a marketable product after struggling to raise the required capital for financing the major clinical trial to investigate its technology's potential in treating flu. However, the NIS 11 million it received from aMoon and €24 million from the EU enabled it to soldier on and embark on a trial with the results expected by the end of 2020.
At the end of 2018, Biondvax had $20 million cash, and the company believes that this, together with the latest investment funds and a further injection of financing from the EU, will provide sufficient finance to complete the trial.
Full disclosure: Marius Nacht is the former partner of Anat Agmon, one of the controlling owners of "Globes."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 20, 2019
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