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Epigenomics announces completion of private placement, new partnerships
BERLIN—Epigenomics AG announced in late October that its executive board, with the approval of the supervisory board, has resolved on the increase of its share capital by approximately $896,000 from the authorized capital 2013/I against contribution in cash. This decision follows the company’s private placement of 660,260 newly issued shares with institutional investors in the United States and Europe, including the owners of Polymedco Inc., Epigenomics’ U.S. commercialization partner.
The issue price is set at approximately $6.77 per share, equal to the volume-weighted average Xetra price during the last three trading days before Oct. 29. Shareholders’ preemptive rights were excluded. Gross proceeds for Epigenomics totaled approximately $4.47 million, and once the capital increase is registered with the commercial register, Epigenomics’ share capital will increase to approximately $17.6 million.
The proceeds from the offering are slated to finance Epigenomics’ current operations and to build and bolster its distribution capacities for its lead product Epi proColon, a blood-based test to detect colorectal cancer.
Epigenomics and Polymedco, a leader in the United States in colorectal cancer screening products, announced a joint commercialization agreement at the beginning of the month to jointly commercialize Epi proColon in North America. Per the terms of the agreement, Polymedco’s dedicated sales force and support staff will target optimal introduction of the test in North America once it has gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Both companies will work together on the test’s marketing, launch and development strategies and will contact appropriate organizations to ensure favorable reimbursement coverage. Epigenomics will be responsible for manufacture of the product as well as medical and regulatory support, which includes all necessary activities to see that Epi proColon is included in major cancer screening guidelines after it has secured approval. A group of representatives from Polymedco and Epigenomics will oversee the test’s launch and commercial introduction, and the partners have agreed to a combined transfer price and profit-sharing agreement contingent upon minimum annual sales of Epi proColon kits from Epigenomics to Polymedco.
Other news for Epigenomics last month included the establishment of a broad strategic collaboration in China with BioChain, a Chinese clinical diagnostic company specializing in cancer and genetic tests. In conjunction with the agreement, BioChain will acquire 217,935 newly issued Epigenomics shares, resulting in a $1.3-million investment into Epigenomics.
The collaboration builds on a license agreement announced between the companies earlier in the year, and stipulates that BioChain will acquire an exclusive license for the development and commercialization of Septin9 in-vitro diagnostic tests for colorectal cancer screening in the Chinese market. Though no specific financial details were disclosed, Epigenomics will receive upfront and minimum annual payments from BioChain, and will also receive mid-single- digit royalty payments once the China Food and Drug Administration approves the product. Until that point, Epigenomics will continue to sell laboratory- developed test components to BioChain. BioChain will be initiating a major clinical trial to validate the blood-based screening assay in hopes of gaining market approval, for which it has ordered 5,000 Epi proColon tests from Epigenomics. The trial is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with an expected completion date of the second half of 2014.