Immunicum raises SEK 351M in a directed issue and a fully guaranteed rights issue for continued clinical development of Ilixadencel – a new cancer immunotherapy.
On 16 October 2018, the Board of Immunicum AB decided to implement a directed issue of approximately SEK 178M (the “Directed Issue”) and a fully guaranteed rights issue of approximately SEK 173M (the “Rights Issue”). The Board’s decision is subject to approval by the Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on 8 November 2018.
The share issues allow for further investments in order to enable Immunicum’s clinical development programs to reach several well-defined and potentially value-creating milestones. In addition, the ownership is strengthened with reputable institutional investors, including the Fourth AP Fund, Gladiator, the Second AP Fund, Alfred Berg, Nordic Cross and Adrigo.
Background and Reason
Immunicum’s main product ilixadencel is a cell-based immune activator that primes the patient’s own immune system to kill cancer cells. Ilixadencel is an off-the-shelf product that does not need to be adapted to the individual patient. Earlier this year, patient recruitment was completed for MERECA, an ongoing Phase II study in renal cell cancer.
During 2018, the company completed the recruitment of patients for the Phase II MERECA trial and for the Phase I/II trial for the treatment of patients with gastrointestinal stromal cell tumors, or GIST. In addition, the company received approval from the FDA for the clinical trial protocol for a Phase Ib/II trial, ILIAD, in multiple cancers in which ilixadencel will be combined with checkpoints inhibitors. The trial is scheduled to start in the latter part of 2018. During the beginning of 2018, the company completed a listing change from Nasdaq First North to the Nasdaq Stockholm main market.
Immunicum is now approaching significant value inflection points, it states. In mid-2019, the company expects to communicate top-level results from the ongoing Phase I/II trial in GIST, and in the third quarter, top-line results are expected from the ongoing Phase II trial, MERECA. Furthermore, in 2019, the company plans to communicate updates from the Phase Ib part of the ILIAD multi-indication trial which includes 21 patients with head and neck cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer. Through the equity issues, Immunicum has funding until the end of 2021, which means that the company will be able to achieve a number of additional value-driving milestones. These may potentially form the basis for strategically important license agreements for the continued development towards market approval and commercialization of ilixadencel.
The capital raised through the equity issues, is primarily intended to finance the extended combination trial and supportive preclinical development regarding combination therapy with different types of immuno-oncology therapies. Furthermore, the Company is planning a significant investment into developing a commercial product and ensuring large-scale production of ilixadencel. This is expected to enable earlier initiation of key, registration-based trials and increase the attractiveness of the project for potential commercial partners. Overall, Immunicum estimates that the capital raise and the strengthened ownership through the Directed Issue will give the company an important prerequisite for the continued successful development of ilixadencel and a strengthened position in future license negotiations with major pharmaceutical companies.
“Immunicum has received significant interest from leading institutional investors based on our progress in the development of ilixadencel – a unique cell-based drug candidate with the potential to become an important part of future immuno-oncology combination treatments. The proposed funding allows for continued investments which will enable our clinical development programs to reach a number of well-defined and potentially value-creating milestones. As early as 2019, we expect top line results from a Phase II study in patients with renal cancer and a Phase I/II study in patients with gastric cancer, as well as data on safety and potentially early efficacy data from a Phase Ib/II study in several other forms of cancer,” says Immunicum’s CEO, Carlos de Sousa.