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Algeta Raises $35 Million in a Private Placement



2/18/2009 7:04:29 AM

Oslo, Norway, 18 February 2009 - Algeta ASA (OSE: ALGETA), the cancer therapeutics company, announces that it has raised USD 35 million (NOK 245 million) through the Private Placement of 22.3 million new shares, with a par value of NOK 0.50, at a price of NOK 11 per share.

The Private Placement took place through a book-building process and was managed by ABG Sundal Collier and DnB NOR Markets. The Private Placement was directed towards existing shareholders as well as selected new institutional and professional investors, and was led by Abingworth LLP, an international investment group dedicated exclusively to the life sciences and healthcare sectors.

Completion of the Private Placement is subject to a resolution of an Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”). The Company will hold an EGM on 4 March 2009 (see separate announcement and notice of the EGM on www.newsweb.no and www.algeta.com). Upon approval of the Private Placement by the EGM, a prospectus for listing of the new shares will be filed with Oslo Børs. Settlement date for the new shares is expected to be on or about 6 March 2009. Following the completion of the Private Placement the share capital of the Company will comprise 38,811,608 shares.

At the EGM, the Board of Algeta will also propose that the Company effects a Subsequent Repair Offering directed to existing shareholders at the date of the EGM and who did not participate in the Private Placement. It is assumed that the Subsequent Repair Offering will comprise approximately 3.1 million shares to be offered at the same price as established through the book-building process in the Private Placement. The Subsequent Repair Offering is expected to allow Algeta to raise a further USD 5 million (NOK 35 million), provided that the Subsequent Repair Offering is fully subscribed. Algeta intends to use the proceeds from the Private Placement and the Subsequent Repair Offering to in part finance:

Completion of the current Phase III clinical trial with Alpharadin and such other studies that are required to secure marketing authorization in major markets for the use of Alpharadin in treating skeletal metastases of prostate cancer origin, initiation and completion of trials to validate potential label extensions for Alpharadin in metastatic prostate cancer, initiation of trials to validate the use of Alpharadin in treating skeletal metastases in breast cancer patients, further advance the Company’s R&D pipeline, and general corporate purposes.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Andrew Kay, CEO of Algeta, said, “I am delighted we have been able to secure this additional funding from a wide range of existing investors and new investors. The fact that we have been able to raise USD 35 million in the present economic climate demonstrates investors’ confidence in Algeta’s ability to generate shareholder value via the successful development and commercialization of our lead product, Alpharadin, a next-generation alpha-pharmaceutical.

“We will use the new funds to invest in our current phase III clinical trial with Alpharadin, which is designed to confirm that it is a safe and effective treatment for bone metastases arising from prostate cancer and has the potential to improve patient survival times. In addition, we intend to broaden the overall clinical development program of Alpharadin so that we can demonstrate its potential benefit for patients with other cancers that metastasize to bone.”

Dr Joe Anderson, a Partner of Abingworth, who will be proposed as a new board member at the EGM, said, “We are delighted to be joining Algeta at such an exciting and crucial time in its development. We believe the company has a breakthrough technology that will lead to an effective, safe medicine for cancer patients with bone metastases. We believe Alpharadin will be a successful drug and, with this financing in place, Algeta has the necessary resources to progress the final stages of its development.”

Alpharadin, Algeta‘s lead product candidate, is a next-generation alpha- pharmaceutical (alpha-emitting pharmaceutical) based on radium-223 and which is in a phase III clinical trial as a potential new treatment for bone metastases in patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). Alpharadin has demonstrated in a comprehensive phase II clinical program strong evidence that it can prolong patient survival times, improves quality of life by controlling pain and offers a placebo-like safety profile.

These exciting clinical results, which are based on Alpharadin’s unique bone-targeting properties, highlight the potential of this new alpha-pharmaceutical to be a first-choice treatment for bone metastases that frequently arise from a number of high-incidence cancers as well as HRPC (e.g. breast, lung and kidney).

Importantly, the benign safety profile of Alpharadin also suggests that it could be an effective treatment for bone metastases when used in combination with other cancer therapies and for patients without current treatment options.

Algeta began enrolling patients for its global phase III ALSYMPCA (ALpharadin in SYMptomatic Prostate CAncer) study in June 2008 and aims to enroll approximately 750 HRPC patients with bone metastases. Recruitment of US patients into the study is planned to commence this year following a successful end-of-phase II meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), held on 30 January 2009.


Read at BioSpace.com


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