e-Therapeutics success in £17 million financing
UK drug discovery and development company e-Therapeutics has successfully raised £17.6 million through a new share issue.
The deal attracted support from new as well as existing investors, with its largest shareholder, Invesco Asset Management, raising its stake in the company to around 47.7 per cent.
The Newcastle-based company says the new funding will be spent on beginning clinical trials for four of its own in-house drugs in 2011.
One of these is ETS2101, a novel therapy for metastatic cancer which has shown promise in pre-clinical testing, being more potent than cisplatin in multiple cell-lines. E-Therapeutics says pre-clinical tests suggest it is highly potent against several difficult-to-treat cancers, such as glioblastoma, and showing long lasting benefits in vivo.
ETS2101 exploits apoptosis, or programmed cell death, aiming to induce the cancer cells to self-destruct.
The company also aims to generate more internal development candidates using its network pharmacology platform, a new technique it calls ‘systematic drug discovery’.
The proprietary platform calculates the net biological effect of how a drug interferes with one or many proteins in a cell. These rapid processes have been shown to predict biological effects accurately, and can therefore help to isolate the most promising molecules more easily and ‘de-risk’ drug discovery.
E-Therapeutics says it can sign more deals with leading pharma companies to exploit these discovery techniques, which could bring in steady income from milestone fees and future royalties.
Professor Malcolm Young, chief executive of e-Therapeutics said: “Our leadership in network pharmacology has enabled us to build an efficient drug discovery platform designed to discover effective and safe drug candidates in disease areas where there remains pressing unmet clinical need. This platform has now generated a development portfolio with multiple mid-stage drug candidates, whose value is now becoming evident.
“The response to this fundraising and the additional secondary appetite for shares in the Company reflect growing recognition of the considerable potential value being created in both the portfolio and the platform through the application of e-Therapeutics’ proprietary techniques to major drug discovery and development problems.
“Following the placings, e-Therapeutics will be capitalised to exploit its proprietary technology in both its own projects and in collaborations with partners in the wider pharma and biotech industry. e-Therapeutics looks forward to reporting further on the initiation and implementation of its lead candidate trials and their results (the latter in 2H 2012), and other material developments.”
The company says the new funds will allow it to pursue its business plan and retain sufficient working capital until at least 2013.