Celator raises $40M to support its liposomal cancer candidate

Blood cells

Ewing, NJ's Celator Pharmaceuticals has raised $40.6 million by issuing 4.6 million additional shares of the company's common stock for $9.50 a share. That included 600,000 shares issued because the underwriters' exercised their option to sell additional shares.

The small cap, with a market share of $460 million, said it will use the proceeds to further develop, manufacture and commercialize its Phase III liposomal candidate to treat acute myeloid leukemia, dubbed Vyxeos.

Overall survival data from the 300-person Phase III clinical trial was very positive, as described by FierceBiotech in March. Patients in the treatment arm posted a median survival rate of 9.56 months, besting the 5.95 months observed in the control group, sending the stock up by around 300%.

It compared intravenous Vyxeos to the standard of care, in which intravenous cytarabine and daunorubicin are administered independently of each other.

Celator's nanoscale liposomes carry cytarabine and daunorubicin at their optimal 5:1 ratio. Once inside the cell, the nanoparticle remains intact, maintaining the synergistic ratio of the two drugs as they escape from the carrier, and reducing degradation, according to the company website.

According to the offering's prospectus, Celator aims to file for an NDA in Q3 2016, with hopes of FDA approval in mid-2017.

- read the release
- here's the prospectus