Amryt Pharma, an Irish biotech company developing a drug for a rare medical condition known as "butterfly skin" has raised $40 million (€33 million) in a private placing of shares.
The company placed 3.2 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) with a series of existing and new investors in the business. That amounts to around 10 per cent of the current shares in issue in the company which is listed both on the Nasdaq exchange in the United States and in London on the junior AIM market.
Investors paid $12.50 per ADS, a discount of around 8 per cent on the price at which Amryt was trading in the US at the market close on Monday.
Amryt is close to submitting an application for its lead drug – Filsuvez – a gel which is a first therapy for patients with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a hereditary condition also known as butterfly skin disease where the skin blisters at the slightest contact.
The company announced a successful outcome to phase III clinical trials in September and October – with a significant increase in the speed of wound healing, the first treatment to do so – and plans to submit separate applications to the US Food and Drugs Administration and the European Medicines Agency early next year.
If approved the drug would go on sale in the US in the fourth quarter of next year and in Europe in the first three months of 2022.
Amryt, which specialises in developing therapies for rare medical conditions, says that the global incidence of EB is estimated to be approximately one in 20,000, which implies that there could be as many as 30,000 affected individuals in the US and over 500,000 worldwide. Many of the patients are children and there are currently no approved treatments for the condition.
Among the new investors in the company is specialist pharma investor Aquilo Capital Management.
The two largest investors in the business – Athyrium Capital Management, which owns over a quarter of the shares, and Highbridge Capital Management which has a stake of around 10 per cent – took part in the placing. So too did Stonepine Capital, and Amati Global Investors which are also existing investors in the company.
Amryt said the proceeds from the placement will be used for working capital.