Only Days After a Follow-On Offering, San Diego's Sophiris Bio Hires Oppenheimer to Explore Strategic Options

Only Days After IPO, San Diego's Sophiris Bio Hires Oppenheimer to Explore Strategic Options May 13, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

La Jolla, California-based Sophiris Bio yesterday hired Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. to help it develop strategic plans that could include a partnership or other financial transactions.

Sophiris is developing PRX302 for the treatment of urological diseases, and is currently in Phase III trials for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise known as enlarged prostate. The compound is also in a Phase IIa proof of concept study for localized low to intermediate risk prostate cancer.

“Our Phase III BPH clinical trial met its primary endpoint and the initial data from our Phase IIa proof of concept trial in localized prostate cancer was encouraging, both of which create attractive strategic opportunities for moving the programs and the company forward,” said Randall Woods, president and chief executive officer of Sophiris, in a statement. “Data from all 18 patients treated with topsalysin in the Phase IIa prostate cancer study is still expected this quarter. With the totality of the topsalysin data, Oppenheimer’s experience advising companies in our field will be immensely valuable as we evaluate strategic alternatives to maximize opportunities from our topsalysin programs.”

Earlier this week, the company reported that it has closed its previously announced public offering at $1.40 per share for total gross proceeds of $5 million. Sophiris indicated it plans to use the net proceeds, about $4.6 million, for general corporate purposes and to pay down outstanding debt.

The company’s fourth quarter and full year financial results were released on March 23, when Sophiris reported that on Dec. 31, 2015 it had $8.4 million in cash, cash equivalents and securities with a net working capital of $5.6 million. The company said this cash was enough to fund operations through September 2016, but it would need more capital to fund a second Phase III trial of topsalysin for BPH and for any future development of the drug for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. On Dec. 31, 2015, the outstanding principal balance of its term loan was $5.3 million.

“Compelling data have been announced from both topsalysin programs over the past few months,” said Woods in a statement at time. “Topsalysin demonstrated promising therapeutic activity in four of the initial seven patients with localized prostate cancer—including one with a complete tumor ablation. This encouraging data follows the announcement in November of 2015 that topsalysin met the primary endpoint in a Phase III study in BPH. We believe that these robust and consistent BPH results will help us secure the capital needed to advance the BPH program into the final clinical study required for marketing approval, in a non-dilutive manner such as through a development and/or commercial partner.”

Sophiris Bio’s are currently trading for $0.98.

Zacks gives the stock a consensus price target of $4 within the year.

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