Imugene to raise A$20.1m, secures cancer vaccine licence

Imugene ASX IMU captial raise cancer vaccine licence

Imugene (ASX: IMU) has received about A$12 million in commitments from institutional and sophisticated investors, as part of a A$20 million capital raising it says will fully fund its expanded clinical programs for up to three years.

The company hopes to gain shareholder approval for the cap-raise at its annual meeting to be held in early July 2018.

Melbourne-based Imugene said the placement at A$0.027 a share will include one free option for every three shares issued. The placement price represents a 12% discount to the company’s weighted average closing price of the five trading days to 4 June 2018.

Following the A$12 million placement, the company, which had a market capitalisation of A$85.64 million earlier today, hopes to raise a further A$8.1 million (before costs) through an entitlement offer to existing shareholders.

Via the entitlement, eligible Australia and New Zealand-registered shareholders will have a chance to increase their stakes in Imugene, with a one for 9.5 non-renounceable pro rata issue priced the same A$0.027 as the placement buy-in.

The option structure under the entitlement will be the same as the A$12 million placement with all exercisable at A$0.040 by 30 November 2021.

Bell Potter Securities will act as lead manager for the placement with Aurenda Partners as co-manager and Roth Capital Partners as US placement agent.

Cancer vaccine licence

Imugene today also announced it had inked a licensing agreement that gives it to access the full suite of cancer vaccine work produced over 28 years by Professor Pravin Kaumaya of Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and The Mayo Clinic.

The company highlighted the benefits of the licensing agreement in its cap-raising statement.

“The multiple commercial, strategic and clinical benefits of this transaction secures Imugene’s global leadership in the promising B-cell peptide cancer vaccine sector, and in particular PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors, where Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center’s pre-clinical work for a phase I PD-1 clinical trial is well advanced,” Imugene said.

Prof Kaumaya has produced more than 130 peer-reviewed articles in major scientific journals, is considered a leader in leader in peptide vaccines for cancer research and has developed a number of B-cell cancer vaccines during his career.

“This collaborative venture with Imugene will support rapid development to achieving a potential cure for several important cancer targets,” Prof Kaumaya said.

Imugene securities slipped 3.33% to rest at A$0.029 by lunchtime.

Amanda Ellis is a writer and business journalist with more than 20 years experience. She has been a staff writer for The West Australian and a journalist at numerous industry publications over the years, including a role as editor of BioTechnologyNews.