Race Oncology (ASX: RAC) is closing out 2021 with an extra $29.7 million in the bank after completing a heavily oversubscribed share purchase plan that saw almost $44 million in applications.
Under the share purchase plan, eligible existing Race shareholders were offered the company’s stock at $3 each.
The company has accepted $29.7 million of those applications, which will be used to accelerate trials for its lead oncology drug Zantrene, which was also recently shown to have heart protective properties.
Race managing director and chief executive officer Phil Lynch said the company is “humbled” by the “extraordinary” show of shareholder support.
“The number of applications reflects enthusiasm for the significant potential of our lead drug Zantrene, and this enables us to implement our planned clinical and drug development plans across the three-pillar program.”
He added the company is moving into 2022 in an “exceptional position”, with many critical milestones ahead.
Proceeds from the share purchase plan will be used to fund multiple clinical trials and other research.
Race describes Zantrene as a potent inhibitor of the Fatso/Fat mass and obesity (FTO) associated protein, which has been shown to be the genetic driver of numerous cancers when overexpressed.
About $8 million of the share purchase plan proceeds will be used towards a phase 1b/2 FTO solid tumour trial. Another $7.5 million has been allocated to evaluate cardio-protection in a phase 2b clinical trial of breast cancer patients. In Europe, $9.2 million will be used for a phase 2 extramedullary acute myeloid leukaemia clinical trial.
The remainder of the cash will go towards improving formulations of Zantrene ($3.2 million), as well as pre-clinical cardio-protection studies ($1 million) and development of new molecules ($800,000).
Earlier this month, Race revealed pre-clinical research had demonstrated Zantrene had cardio-protective properties.
Zantrene can synergise with chemotherapy drug carfilzomib and improve cancer cell death, while also protecting against heart muscle cell death.
Although carfilzomib is deemed an effective anti-cancer agent, it can cause serious and irreversible heart damage.
As a result, Race is undertaking more research on Zantrene’s cardio-protective properties with the University of Newcastle.