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CMS advises on fundraisings for three AIM-listed life sciences companies

29 October 2020

International law firm CMS has advised on three separate equity capital market (ECM) fundraisings for AIM-listed life sciences companies. 

CMS advised finnCap Ltd (as nomad and joint bookrunner) and Numis Securities Limited (as joint bookrunner) on an £87 million fundraising for AIM-listed Synairgen plc, a respiratory drug discovery and development company focused primarily on lung viral defence in asthma, COPD and COVID-19. The fundraising is structured as a firm placing, conditional placing and open offer. 

During the first half of 2020, Synairgen made significant clinical progress with its inhaled formulation of interferon beta, SNG001. The results from its Phase II trial in hospitalised COVID-19 patients in July 2020 indicated that its inhaled interferon beta could provide a valuable treatment option in the face of the global pandemic. The net proceeds of the fundraising will be used to support a Phase III clinical trial, SNG001 manufacturing and device scale-up activities, and the generation of further SNG001 data to support clinical, manufacturing and regulatory activities. 

The CMS team was led by Corporate partner and Head of ECM Alasdair Steele, supported by senior associate Kate Darracott and associate Katie Hume (both Corporate).

CMS also advised Panmure Gordon on a £33 million fundraising for AIM-listed Scancell Holdings plc (Scancell). The fundraising comprises a £30 million investment by Redmile Group LLC, by way of a subscription of new shares and convertible loan notes, and a £3 million open offer.

Scancell is developing novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer using its technology platforms (ImmunoBody, Moditope and AvidiMab), with four products in multiple cancer indications and a vaccine in development for COVID-19. The net proceeds of the fundraising will provide Scancell with significant additional balance sheet strength and allow it to extend the utility of its antibody products and platforms, to accelerate and broaden its development pipeline of new potential novel therapies. 

The CMS team was led by Corporate partner Jack Shepherd and supported by associate Sarah Kensell (Corporate). This fundraising follows the £15 million placing and open offer completed by Scancell in August 2020, on which CMS also advised.

CMS advised Panmure Gordon on a £15m fundraising via ABB for AIM-listed C4X Discovery Holdings plc (C4XD), a pioneering drug discovery company. 

The net proceeds of the fundraising will be used to strengthen C4XD’s balance sheet, progress its investment portfolio, continue to apply C4XD's technologies to validate the next generation of commercially attractive targets and programmes, and to support working capital during the progression of the pipeline portfolio. The CMS team was led by Corporate partner James Parkes and supported by Alice Frydl and Ross Ritchie (both Corporate).

Alasdair Steele, CMS partner and Head of ECM, comments: “At CMS, our ECM team is experienced at advising clients across the full range of equity issuances. Despite recent challenging times, we continue to support our clients in bolstering their finances through the equity markets. We’re pleased to have advised finnCap, Numis Securities and Panmure Gordon on these successful fundraisings, which demonstrate that investors continue to show willing when it comes to funding growing life sciences companies.”