SYDNEY, Feb. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Benitec Biopharma Limited (ASX: BLT), today announced it has completed a private placement of up to approximately 29.4 million of the company's ordinary shares at a price of AUD $1.07 per ordinary share, raising up to approximately AUD $31.5 million from international institutional investors who include U.S.-based RA Capital Management, Perceptive Advisors, Special Situations Funds and Sabby Management. In connection with the purchase of ordinary shares, Benitec agreed to issue the investors free attaching options to purchase up to an additional 13.2 million ordinary shares at an exercise price of AUD $1.26 per ordinary share, to expire in five-years.
The placement was managed by US investment bank Maxim Group LLC and Lodge Corporate Pty Ltd in Australia.
Proceeds from the private placement will be used to accelerate clinical development of Benitec's lead compound TT-034, a potential "single shot" treatment for hepatitis C. Funds will also be used to advance other programs in the company's pipeline, with a particular emphasis on the lung cancer, age-related macular degeneration, and hepatitis B programs.
Peter French, Benitec Biopharma's CEO and Managing Director, stated, "Having recently received clearance to commence clinical trials with our first ddRNAi drug candidate, TT-034, Benitec is poised for significant growth. We are therefore pleased to announce this financing, led by new investors in United States that clearly recognize the potential of our ddRNAi technology and pipeline. We look forward to creating additional value for our company by using these funds to advance our lead hepatitis C program through Phase 2b, as well as move other select programs into clinical stage development."The Placement is expected to occur in two stages:
- Approximately 14.7 million ordinary shares, which represent a total of approximately AUD $15.7 million and approximately 6.6 million options, and which can be issued without shareholder approval, are anticipated to be issued on or about Friday, February 28, 2014, following receipt of funds; and
- Approximately 14.7 million ordinary shares, also representing a total of approximately AUD $15.7 million and approximately 6.6 million options, to be issued subject to Benitec receiving shareholder approval at a general meeting, which is expected to be held in or about the week commencing April 7, 2014.
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