Canada's ConjuChem, a company specialised in improving the formulation of peptide drugs, has said that it is aiming to raise around C$12 million (€7.6m) in a new private placement round. The company said that it would use the money to fund clinical trials of its drug candidates, which are based on its proprietary 'bioconjugation' technology.
ConjuChem's approach has some similarities with the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) to improve certain properties of large molecules, such as their half-life in the body or tolerability. The company's Drug Affinity Complex technology relies on the conjugation of peptides to albumin, a naturally-occurring protein which often functions as a transport mechanism for large, complex molecules.
Albumin is the most prevalent protein in the blood stream and has many characteristics that make it an attractive option of the DAC technology. For example, it is distributed throughout virtually all tissues in the body, has a half-life of 15 to 20 days in the human body and does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier, an important safety consideration.
In May when the company announced it received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical trials of DAC:GLP-1 in patients with type 2 diabetes.
ConjuChem said investors led by Yorkton Securities will buy 6.25 million of its common shares at C$1.60 each. The group also has an option to buy a further 1.25 million shares which, if exercised, would result in gross proceeds of C$12 million.