SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Medical biotechnology company Innate Immunotherapeutics has today announced its plans to raise up to A$12 million through an IPO of up to 60 million shares at A$0.20 per share. Firm commitments for A$5 million have been received, including A$3 million from Australian Ethical Smaller Companies Trust who have provided the cornerstone investment for the IPO.
The majority of funds raised will be used to conduct a placebo controlled Phase 2B efficacy trial for its lead drug candidate MIS416 for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). The trial is due to commence at multiple sites in Australia during the second quarter of 2014.
Worldwide, 30% of all multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers have SPMS and there are currently no approved disease modifying drugs for the safe and effective, ongoing treatment of this highly disabling form of the disease.
The Company has completed Phase 1B/2A trials in New Zealand during which the drug raised no safety concerns and, in most patients treated for three months, showed clear signs of positive effect. These trials were funded in part by the US National MS Society (NMSS) and the New Zealand Government.
In addition, 17 patients with SPMS have been treated with MIS416 over the past five years in New Zealand under a compassionate use programme, which is permitted under the NZ Medicines Act. Of the total 17 patients treated in this manner, 14 have reported significant improvements in their MS symptoms and/or health-related quality of life, following six months or more of treatment.
“We believe that this IPO presents an opportunity to invest in an exciting new treatment for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which is a debilitating disease with no approved, effective ongoing treatment options,” said Innate Immunotherapeutics CEO, Simon Wilkinson. “This is an investment that can help make an enormous difference to the lives of people afflicted by SPMS.”
On successful completion of the Phase 2B trial, expected in late 2015, the Company strategy is to maximize the value of the technology through a major partnering or acquisition transaction. Pharmaceutical companies with existing drugs to treat early stage MS appear to be actively seeking drugs to treat SPMS and the Company has engaged early and positively with these companies.
Patersons Securities Limited and Morgans Corporate Limited are joint lead managers to the IPO.
Copies of the Prospectus are available on the Company’s website:
Applications can only be made by investors living in Australia or New Zealand and may only be made using the Public Offer Application Form that will be in, or accompany, the Prospectus. The Public Offer is contained in the Prospectus and potential investors should consider the Prospectus in its entirety before making an investment decision.
About Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, where the body’s immune system attacks the myelin sheath surrounding the nerve fibres. The damaged myelin disrupts the communication mechanism of parts of the central nervous system. This results in a wide range of symptoms, which may include loss of balance and muscle coordination, difficulty walking, slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, cognitive impairment, depression, fatigue and bladder problems. There are two main forms of MS, an early ‘relapsing-remitting’ stage of disease and, a later, more disabling ‘secondary-progressive’ stage of disease.
The microparticle, MIS416, is biologically derived and can target both the regulatory functions and the defensive (pathogenic) functions of the innate immune system. The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defence against external disease causing agents (pathogens) such as bacteria and viruses, and internally caused diseases such as cancer. Disorders of the immune system can also cause or contribute to autoimmune diseases such as MS and type 1 diabetes, as well as inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
About Innate Immunotherapeutic’s migration to Australia
In October 2013, Innate Immunotherapeutics, previously an unlisted New Zealand public company, migrated its corporate operations from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. The migration followed strong interest from both pharmaceutical companies and investors around MIS416 for the treatment of SPMS and was spurred by the attractive Australian market for both capital investment and clinical need. The Australian Research and Development incentive scheme whereby a 45% cash rebate can be obtained for R&D activities was also very attractive. The Company’s existing drug manufacturing facility will continue to operate from Auckland.