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Bionomics in $20 million capital raise ahead of PTSD trial

Business

The share price for SA-based mental health treatment startup Bionomics has doubled in the past month, as the company looks to raise $20 million in capital ahead of its upcoming PTSD drug trial.

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Share prices for the Adelaide-based drug, research and development group closed at 31 cents on Monday, after more than doubling from 15 cents on February 1.

The drastic share price spike followed an update to shareholders of a 1-for-6 pro-rata non-renounceable entitlement offer, which the company said was expected to raise $20 million.

In an announcement to the ASX on Monday, Bionomics said the new capital would be used to fund the company’s upcoming Phase 2 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) trial as well as “general working capital purposes”.

It said eligible shareholders would be able to purchase the new shares at 14.5 cents per new share between March 16 and March 30, with the entitlement offer results announced early in April.

The entitlement offer share price is the same as the issue price for Bionomics’ recently underwritten placement to North American and European institution and sophisticated investors last month.

The previous offer raised almost $16 million towards the development of the company’s PTSD medication.

Last month’s placement was underwritten by German psychedelic treatment advocate Christian Angermayer through his family office, Apeiron Investment Group, after Bionomics and Apeiron entered into a subscription agreement in June worth up to $22 million.

It followed the unsuccessful trial of Bionomics’ flagship drug – BNC210 – as a liquid in 2018.

The company said it had subsequently adapted the medication into a tablet form which was not taken with food and that it was confident the business could move forward.

The Adelaide biotech company aims to develop improved treatments for a range of central nervous system disorders, including anxiety, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

In a letter to shareholders, Bionomics executive chairman Errol De Souza said the company was “extremely pleased with the progress that we have made over the past year in turning around the company and getting BNC210 back on track with our novel tablet formulation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which has been granted Fast Track designation by the FDA”.

“With the dose of BNC210 now selected, we have initiated manufacturing of the tablets, clinical site selection and regulatory filings in preparation for a Phase 2b trial with BNC210 in PTSD patients projected for mid-2021,” he said.

“We are pleased to be able to offer all our current shareholders the opportunity to purchase shares at the discounted price as was offered to new investors in the recently oversubscribed Private Placement of approximately $16 million which along with the Proposed Entitlement Offer will provide us with the funds necessary for BNC210 development.”

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