) -- I chatted briefly by phone with
CEO Chris Garabedian following the successful follow-on stock offering that raised $125 million.
Here are some excerpts from our conversation:
On investor demand for the offering:
"We went out with a target of raising $75 million but by the time we were ready to close the book we were more than three times oversubscribed, almost four times... The book was full of top quality institutional investors, many of whom were not going to get the allocation they wanted, so we decided to upsize the offering."
On Sarepta's new shareholder base:
"Previously, we had about 35% institutional investors. With the close of this offering, we're up to 50%, including a lot of long-only accounts and good fundamental life-sciences investors. It's really nice to see the company's shareholder base change.
On the timing of the stock offering:
"It's hard to find the right [financing] window where we don't have disclosure issues... But we had the
62-week eteplirsen data
behind us, investor demand was high and you always worry about macro risk so we decided to get [an offering] in before the end of the year. It's nice to enjoy the holidays knowing we have a very healthy balance sheet."
On plans for the FDA meeting to discuss the possibility of filing accelerated approval for eteplirsen:
"We're sticking with our guidance that we will be requesting a meeting with FDA before the end of the year, which puts us squarely on track to have the meeting in the first quarter."
When can investors expect to hear from Sarepta about the outcome of the FDA meeting?
"We won't be saying anything publicly until we get the final minutes from the FDA meeting, which probably means a March-April timeframe. At that point, we'll update investors on whether or not we will be pursuing an accelerated approval [for eteplirsen.]"
On eteplirsen manufacturing and timing of a possible eteplirsen approval filing:
"We need to have difference discussions with FDA about clinical and manufacturing issues. The plan right now is to meet with FDA about CMC [chemistry, manufacturing and controls] in the second quarter... How or when we file will be dictated by the outcome and feedback we get from FDA at both these meetings."