Earlier this morning, Ablynx' (ABLX) up-sized 11.4 million share IP priced at $17.50, raising total gross proceeds of about $199.5 million. With shares already trading on the Euronext Brussels exchange, the pricing was based on the price of its ordinary shares in Brussels, as well as current exchange rates. Originally, the company was looking to sell 8.1 million shares at a price of about $19.08. While shares slid a bit lower on the Brussels exchange, it was able to bump the share amount to 11.4 million. Consequently, ABLX generated roughly 30% more in capital than anticipated.
The lead underwriters on the deal were BofA Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, and Jefferies. The stock is set to open for trading later this morning on the Nasdaq.
ABLX is a Belgium-based late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company utilizing its proprietary Nanobody platform to develop treatments for a broad range of therapeutic indications with an unmet medical need. It has more than 45 proprietary and partnered Nanobody programs across a range of therapeutic indications including hematology, inflammation, infectious disease, autoimmune disease, oncology and immuno-oncology.
Nanobodies are a class of novel therapeutic proteins that are based on the smallest functional fragments of “heavy-chain only” antibodies, which occur naturally in the Camelidae family, including llamas and alpacas. ABLX believes that Nanobody-based product candidates combine many of the benefits of conventional monoclonal antibodies with some of the advantages of small molecule drugs.
Its lead, wholly owned product candidate, caplacizumab, for the treatment of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP) is currently undergoing regulatory review in Europe, and it recently announced positive top line results from a Phase III trial with caplacizumab in October 2017. Submission of a Biologics License Application (BLA) for caplacizumab in the United States is planned in the first half of 2018 and it received Fast Track Designation for caplacizumab in July 2017.
This month, ABLX announced positive top line results from a 145 patient Phase III worldwide clinical trial of caplacizumab for the treatment of aTTP, and it expects these data will drive the registration process for caplacizumab in both Europe and the United States.
ABLX' second most advanced wholly owned product candidate is ALX-0171 for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. It commenced a Phase II trial in 180 hospitalized infants in January 2017 and expect top line results in the second half of 2018.
For the six months ended June 30, 2017, revenue and grant income decreased by €18.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2017 to €34.7 million, compared to €53.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016. The decrease in revenue was primarily related to a decrease of €19.3 million in recognized upfront fees for the six months ended June 30, 2017, mainly resulting from lower recognition of payments from AbbVie and Merck, partially offset by €1.1 million in higher milestone payments.
Research and development expenses totaled €50.5 million and €49.0 million for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The increase of €2.1million in personnel related expenditure for the six months ended June 30, 2017 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2016 was principally related to costs of additional research and development personnel.
Net loss for the period was €(0.6) million compared to a net financial income of €24.9 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016.
Turning to the balance sheet, as of June 30, 2017, the company had cash and equivalents of €26,390 and no long term debt.